Meredith Alexander, Founder of Milk + Bookies, with her Sons

Meredith Alexander, Founder of Milk + Bookies, with her Sons

the 10
ways to teach kids about giving back

Founded in 2004, Milk + Bookies is a non-profit that promotes childhood literacy and service learning by throwing uber-fun book donation socials for your wee ones. The tots get a first-hand feel for philanthropy, and do something good for the community, too (milk and cookies are served après party, of course). The brilliant brains behind Milk + Bookies is Los Angeles-based MEREDITH ALEXANDER, who as a super-mom of two, wishes for amazing adventures for every kiddie out there.

Here, Meredith shares her list of profound ways to teach children about giving back.

  • 1

    Share Isabella's Cookies

    One of the easiest ways to have a "give back" experience with your kids is to take some cookies to the local fire station. The kids will love looking at the hook and ladder, and it's a great way to teach them about appreciation for others.

  • 2

    Set up a Charity Lemonade Stand

    Hot day? Kids whining around the house? Have them put together a lemonade stand with the help of Alex's Lemonade Stand (a foundation for the cure of childhood cancer), which a wonderful fundraiser for your family. It is so rewarding (and thirst quenching).

  • 3

    Host a Milk + Bookies Party

    It's an easy way to feel good and help your kids make a difference in the world. You can add it to a birthday party or just about any time you have a group of children in one place, like a cub scout meeting or a backyard BBQ. AND, it's another excuse to read stories!

  • 4

    Give Toys to a Children's Hospital

    I love these high quality wood toys for little ones. Just google your zip code and "children's hospital" and have your kids put together a thoughtful package for a sick child. These wooden Waldorf Peekaboo Men would be perfect for tots.

  • 5

    Give Heifer Project Gifts

    When you go online together and read about all of the gift choices and the benefits these animals have on families, you can't help but get involved. It is really moving.

  • 6

    Mimi and Maty to the Rescue

    This book by Brooke Smith & Alli Arnold teaches kids about helping animals. Milk + Bookies is SO proud to be aligned with MIMI & MATY. We think that this book deserves to be the inaugural recipient of the Bookies Bravo Award. This award will be given to children's books that reinforce the message of kids helping others.

  • 7

    Buy TOMS Shoes

    We all know about one for one. It's such a fabulous company with SUPER comfortable shoes! They are the definition of "effortlessly chic."

  • 8

    Send Old Cell Phones to Eco-Cell

    Adopt a mountain gorilla and, along with your children, learn about how they are in danger from the mining of coltan, a mineral used in making cell phones. Ask your kids to start a used cell phone drive at their school—my son did, and collected about fifty old phones for Eco-Cell.

  • 9

    An Awesome Book of Thanks!

    This book by Dallas Clayton teaches children about gratitude and, for each one you buy, one will be donated to a child in need. The pictures in this book are so engaging that your kids will be pouring over them for hours, which is a great excuse to read the words over and over, and start a conversation about gratitude.

  • 10

    Organize a Canned Food Drive

    How much fun would it be to make a cute picture with details about a canned food drive, staple it to an empty grocery bag and leave them on all of your neighbors' doorsteps, then a week later, take this adorable wagon and go pick up full bags of canned food‽

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