Blog

December 2015

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    The 2015 Holiday "Acts of Giving" List

    December 1, 2015

    As the Midlands’ expert in philanthropy, we’re offering you a list of our recommendations for local “acts of giving” opportunities to get you started.  We hope you will take time this holiday season to enjoy a time honored family tradition or begin a new one. Your traditions will certainly inspire generosity!

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December 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    7 Generous Family Holiday Traditions

    December 17, 2014

    Traditions make this time of year extra special.  In addition to strengthening family bonds, traditions teach values and skills to your children. During the holidays, children can get wrapped up making their wish lists for Santa and dropping hints about special toys they’d like to see under the tree. This year, take time to incorporate some of these simple and fun traditions that teach giving into your holiday plans:

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May 2014

  • Posted by David Laird

    Midlands Family Summer Activities

    May 22, 2014

    Summer is around the corner and approaching quickly! Most likely, you have already been planning your summer and have a schedule filled with activities. Summer is the perfect time to teach your family about giving and to enjoy time with each other while helping others. There are so many opportunities for Midlands Families to enjoy their break by helping our community. Here are just a few that we have come across this week:

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Magnify the Midlands

    May 1, 2014

    Do you remember using a magnify glass growing up? Most likely, you used it in science class or maybe in your own exploration of the world.

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March 2014

February 2014

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Doing Good From Your Kitchen Table

    February 27, 2014

    This month, we’ve all experienced some seasonal cabin fever. How do you cope when TV is not a great option and the chorus of brother-and-sister bickering might be hitting a high?

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January 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    SOUPer Bowl

    January 23, 2014

    A big ‘holiday’ is coming up. It’s one of my family’s favorites – an annual celebration when we gather around the television with friends and eat a “full flavored” selection of hot wings, chicken nachos, queso dip and brownies.

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    MLK Day of Service

    January 16, 2014

    “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Saving and Giving: Teaching Kids to Plan

    January 9, 2014

    Saving. As adults we know it’s critical, but learning to save is often tough. The savings rate in our country illustrates the difficulty. The National Institute on Retirement Security says the typical American family has only ‘a few thousand dollars’ saved for retirement.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    New Year, New Traditions

    January 2, 2014

    There's something invigorating about starting a new year – 12 months of endless possibilities. Some approach it as an uncharted adventure while others pen a list of resolutions determined to turn over a new leaf. Whatever your approach, the New Year is a great time to create new family traditions and habits.

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December 2013

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Sacrifice A Gift

    December 17, 2013

    Gifts! Who doesn’t feel a little giddy when they see a present that has their name on it? But, how do we provide balance? We don’t want to let out children down, but are we becoming order fillers? How can we avoid the “I Want” syndrome epidemic in today’s society?

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Creating a Culture of Giving

    December 5, 2013

    Have you heard about ‘Giving Tuesday?’ In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, which occurred this week, is a day focused on giving, not getting.  It sets the tone for a holiday season filled with generosity and goodwill

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November 2013

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Thanks and Giving

    November 20, 2013

    The holidays are officially here. Travel plans have been made and grocery lists are being checked.

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October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

June 2013

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Eight Ways to Volunteer with Your Kids

    June 12, 2013

    One of our Facebook fans recently shared this inspiring quote from Gandhi with us: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

    Here at the Community Foundation, we've been reflecting on this quote for the last few days because it is so powerful and true. Take a moment to think about the times when you have given your time, energy, and support to serve others: aren’t those moments some of your most rewarding and fulfilling? As parents, we have the opportunity to share that experience with our children.

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April 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Volunteering as a Family: Selecting a Project

    April 30, 2013

    So you’re looking for a way to pull your family together for some meaningful quality time. What next? Here are some tips and ideas to help you and your kids get the most out of your volunteer efforts.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Family Volunteer Vacation

    April 18, 2013

    Is your family considering a summer family vacation? Helping others while traveling in different regions and cultures can offer a new perspective and broader understanding of the needs of others in the world. Plus, it’s a rewarding experience you can share together that will enrich your family and create lasting memories.

    There are numerous services available that can help you explore both domestic and international options and plan your trip, but before you get started, consider these five tips in ensuring you make the most out of your philanthropic family adventure. 

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Monthly Family Give

    April 4, 2013

    If you’re looking for a way to infuse giving into your family’s culture, consider committing as a group to a Monthly Family Give. You can sit down now and plan out the year or decide on your ‘give’ from month to month, just be sure that once you make the commitment you follow through. Before you know it, helping others in your community will become second nature! Here are a few ways your family can come together once a month to help others and get involved in your community:

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March 2013

February 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Charitable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

    February 12, 2013

    Valentine’s Day is traditionally for sweethearts, but there are a lot of people out there that deserve our appreciation. And others that could probably use a little love. (photo caption: In 2012, CCCF staff delivered treats to the Columbia City Police Department.) There are so many little and big ways anyone – young or old – can help others. Whether it’s through a donation, act or something so simple as holding the door for a stranger and wishing them a good morning.

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November 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Teens: The Benefits of Volunteering

    November 30, 2012

    Many schools these days are requiring that students complete pre-determined hours of volunteer work in our community. Whether your children are required to volunteer, do so on their own, or you’re interested in offering them a new experience, you can be assured that not only will the community benefit, they will too.

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Giving Tuesday 2012

    November 27, 2012

    Many of us hit the stores on Black Friday. Maybe even more of us participated in Cyber Monday. Lots of us shopped locally on Small Business Saturday.  'Tis the season of giving and getting. But what about really giving?

    Well now we have an opportunity to show that we 'give as good as we get' on GIVING TUESDAY. Today! It's simple, really. All you have to do is find a way to participate in acts of giving. You could include your family, your business or a group of your friends. You can volunteer, you can give financially, you can help a neighbor. It doesn't matter what you do, just simply do it.

    Bonus points for Giving Tuesday? Tell your children. Better yet? Include them.

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  • Posted by David Laird

    How Your Family Can Help the Hungry

    November 15, 2012

    This week we are observing National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (November 10-18). Hunger is a huge problem and a complicated issue, but we can empower our children to make a difference if we educate them about the issue and provide them with opportunities to help instead of ignoring or attempting to insulate them from the reality of this epidemic issue. One in four children in our state goes to bed hungry at night. It is all around us. Here are some ways you can help and get your family involved in making a difference in the lives of those that are hungry.

    Read More »

October 2012

  • Posted by David Laird

    Make A Difference Day 2012

    October 18, 2012

    Helping others ... Community involvement ... Making a difference ... Instilling these values into our children. These things all sound good, especially the last one, right? Maybe you want these things to be a priority for your family, but you're just not sure how to make that happen. Well, here's your excuse to give it a try: Make A Difference Day - Saturday, October 27, 2012

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July 2012

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Charitable Birthday: Giving Books

    July 16, 2012

    We heard from a Talk About Giving follower today who is interested in hosting a charitable birthday party for her child and collecting new or gently used books in lieu of gifts. So we checked with our resident librarian (yes, we actually have one right here in our office leading the Literacy 2030 initiative!) as to what organizations in the Midlands collect books for children. And when considering this, it's difficult not to pause and reflect on the issue of illiteracy right here in our backyard.

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June 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Midlands Families: Fun and Helping - June 2012

    June 18, 2012

    There are so many opportunities for Midlands families to help in our community this summer AND lots of fun activities that your family might want to check-out while everyone is enjoying vacation downtime. Here's what we came across on Twitter and Facebook -- just today.

    What have we missed? Do you have other suggestions for volunteer opportunities for children and families this summer? Or other great ideas or scoop on some fun? Let us know!

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Fundraising Ideas for Kids

    June 12, 2012

    So your kids come to you and say they want to do a fundraiser for something they care about. In addition to our tips on how to make this happen, here are some simple, short-term fundraising ideas that are manageable for you and will provide your children with a fun, interactive opportunity to make a difference. A few important considerations in selecting your fundraising activity:

    Be sure the activities involved are age appropriate and easy to understand for the children that will be participating. Consider a time limit on how long the fundraising efforts will last. Be sure it’s safe: location, people, actual activities, etc. Make it fun! Complete the give. Be sure to include your children in physically making the donation. Consider having them draw pictures or write a brief paragraph about why they care about that organization and how they raised the funds.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Making Finances Fun: Moneyville at EdVenture

    June 7, 2012

     No matter the age, talking to kids about money can be tough. For many parents, conversation about finances is more daunting than talking about sex and drugs and considered taboo. And, while 80 percent of parents feel that schools should teach students basic money management and budgeting skills1, only seven states require students to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in personal finance before graduation from high school2.

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May 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Create a Giving Scrap Book

    May 22, 2012

    (Disclaimer: We promise you don’t have to be a hardcore scrap booker, or even mildly crafty for this.)

    Remember when y’all went to the beach last summer with the whole family and how fun it was and how crazy it was when Granddaddy was chased by a sand crab? Or when y’all went to Disney or Carowinds or the S.C. State Fair and rode the rides and ate cotton candy and how you all laughed when that clown accidently spilled a bucket of water on its dog? Or the last day of school last spring and y’all were all out at Field Day and the principal was in the dunking booth?

    Well, thanks to today’s technology and a plethora of ways you can organize and archive memories, it’s likely that these experiences – from daily happenings to big events – are well documented. And what fun is it to pull the scrap book off the shelf for some reminiscing? Kids (and everyone, really) love to relive past fun and what better way to keep memories fresh and feel connected to family, friends and experiences that are sometimes far away?

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April 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Five Ways to Do Good from Your Kitchen Table

    April 23, 2012

    It’s Saturday, and it’s raining. In fact, it’s been raining for the last three days straight. Or perhaps it's too hot or too chilly - it was a warm winter, huh? But today it's chilly! Either way, your plans for a day outside, and your kids’ cabin fever might be steadily rising. Everyone has lost interest in watching tv, but it’s still blaring, a steady background to the chorus of brother-and-sisterly bickering.

    We’ve all had days like this. We all know how frustrating it is to watch your kids unravel because they’re bored. The solution? Help your kids shift the focus from themselves to others with a quick “kitchen table project.” Using these everyday moments at home to micro-volunteer is an easy way to do some good and remind your kids what really matters.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Reflection

    April 17, 2012

    Have you ever been part of a book club? You read the book and then get together with some others to reflect. If you haven’t been to a book club, you’ve probably been to a movie with a group and had a discussion about the storyline after viewing. Were you surprised by the different experiences other readers/viewers had? Maybe they noticed details you hadn't or important character traits that you dismissed. Perhaps they picked-up on themes or morals that you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t get it at all, but someone explained the plot or theme in a way that made it clear.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Activity: Spring Break Fundraiser

    April 3, 2012

    It’s Spring Break season and many of the children we know are out of school this week. Looking for an activity that’s not only fun, but will motivate and empower your kids to make a difference? Suggest a fundraiser!

    Regardless of the scope of the benefit, whether it’s an afternoon project or a full-scale event, kids will likely need some help and guidance in pulling together a successful fundraiser. Here are some tips in assisting them.

    Read More »

March 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Kids Helping Kids

    March 28, 2012

    Introducing children to community need can be a little daunting. The issues facing our community can be complicated and many parents aren’t sure how to explain these problems in a way that kids can begin to understand and in a manner that won’t scare them.

    At the same time, we want our children to grow into community-minded adults who are aware of the needs of our neighbors. And we want them to know that they have the power to make a difference. So where should we start?

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Helping the Hungry

    March 12, 2012

    Last week, we caught a segment on Good Day Columbia regarding a recent report published by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) which ranked South Carolina fifth in the nation for food hardship. And if you zero-in on regions, the Columbia area ranks 13th in the nation.  (click the link to see the full report)

    Hunger is a huge problem and a complicated issue, but we can empower our children to make a difference if we educate them about the issue and provide them with opportunities to help instead of ignoring or attempting to insulate them from the reality of this epidemic issue. One in four children in our state goes to bed hungry at night. It is all around us.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Four Creative Ways to Make Family Dinner Happen

    March 5, 2012

    “…There is something about a shared meal--not some holiday blowout, not once in a while but regularly, reliably--that anchors a family even on nights when the food is fast and the talk cheap and everyone has someplace else they'd rather be. And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers, caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this habit.” --- Michael Elins

    The magic of the family dinner. Social scientists have championed it as the answer to your family’s problems for the last thirty years, publishing study after study on the positive impact of family dinners on child development. You know this. We know this. But in today’s busy world, it’s become increasingly harder to corral your family around the kitchen table. Or, if you do gather everyone, it might just be one more thing on your list—hurried through.

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February 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Get One, Give One

    February 20, 2012

    It’s fun to surprise our kids with special treats or purchase them new items. The latest action figure for your seven-year-old. A fun new pair of earrings for your teenage daughter. A new basketball or catcher’s mitt for your athlete. There are probably others that like to spoil your children a little as well. Like grandparents, aunts, uncles and close family friends.

    Instead of just filling up drawers and toy boxes with more stuff, there’s actually an opportunity in each gift or new item received to encourage appreciation and generosity if you employ a ‘Get One, Give One” policy in your household. And with this policy, there’s opportunity to survey that which we have and take stock on what we still appreciate. Does this sound like a dream come true?

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Acts of Kindness

    February 13, 2012

    If you grew up in the South, or if you have a Southern grandmother or friend, you might have received a sercy at some point in your life. Sercies can be better than birthday presents. More exciting than Christmas. Because a sercy is a special treat for no reason at all. It’s just a little present or act of kindness just because. Like a special trip to the park, a bag of your favorite candy or dessert, a little something that they saw and just knew you would love, a warm deed just for you.

    “Those best parts of a good life: little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” --William Wordsworth

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Sharing the Love

    February 8, 2012

    Valentine’s Day is next week. The kids have probably picked out the treats and cards they’ll share with their friends. Maybe you’ve picked out a little something special for them, too. Perhaps your family will share a special meal next Tuesday evening. It’s the perfect time to bake some pink sugar cookies. Red, heart napkins might be included in lunch boxes. You might spend some time gluing white paper doilies to construction paper hearts for grandparents.

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January 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Giving The Gift of Giving

    January 23, 2012

    New Year, new traditions. We've been talking about ways we can enrich our children’s giving experiences and introduce them to the world of helping others. Charitable birthdays have been a favorite, but what about other children in our lives that we love and care about? Your son’s bff since preschool, your best friend’s daughter, your godchild, niece/nephew, grandchild, neighbor, college roommate’s kid, etc. While it might not be our responsibility to rear these children, we might play a significant role in their lives – and in their families. It takes a village, right? And we do have a responsibility to positively influence children that are part of our lives. Think about the adults that you looked up to when you were a child. Who were they and what did you learn from them? Think about the children in your life that look up to you.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Where Should I Give My Birthday?

    January 18, 2012

    So you’re thinking about planning a Charitable Birthday for your kiddo(s) this year but not sure what nonprofit would be appropriate to support?

    To help, we’ve pulled together a list* of Midlands, SC-area** nonprofits for your consideration that provide wish lists on their websites. Items requested range from art supplies to snacks to cleaning products to linens to baby food. There are so many options!

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Five Ways to Encourage Big Dreams

    January 16, 2012

    "I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreams are like roadmaps. Like plans that will lead us where we wish to go, change we desire to see and shape whom we become. As parents, we can help our children contemplate their dreams, what they wish for in life and what they care for most. Naturally, these dreams will be modified in time. What your five-year-old dreams of today might be different when she is eight. But providing our children with an environment where they can flourish and dream – and dream big – will increase their chances of dreaming big when it really counts.

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December 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Helping During the Holidays

    December 12, 2011

    For many, the holiday season represents a time of giving – giving gifts, giving thanks and giving back. Perhaps this year, as you’ve plinked through your shopping list of goodies and threatened your children with coal and switches, you've wondered how your family could do more for others and how you can offer your children a lesson about the needs of your community.

    Too stressed to fit it in or worried it’s too late? Well, think again.  There are lots of simple things you and your family can do to help make the holidays happier for those in need in our community*. 

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November 2011

September 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Jumpstart with a Giving Challenge

    September 29, 2011

    Whether philanthropy has been a part of your family’s regular habits or you’re interested in incorporating it into your lifestyle for the first time, coming together for a Jumpstart Giving Challenge can really get everyone’s ‘giving’ juices flowing and offer a taste (or reminder) of how it feels to help others – it will likely get you all coming back for more.

    Not sure where to start? Include the kids from the very beginning and try following these steps to make the best of your Jump Start Giving Challenge. 

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  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    A New Tradition: Give Away Your Birthday

    September 21, 2011

    Authored by Julie Smith Turner

    I never knew one of the most difficult things you face as a parent is giving your children too much. But the signs are everywhere in our house. The bedrooms have toys. The living room has toys. The family room has toys. Even the bathtub has toys.

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August 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Disaster Preparation: More Than Checking the Flashlight Batteries

    August 26, 2011

    It’s been a weird week. We’ve been watching (some call it stalking) a hurricane’s projected path closely. We here in the Midlands definitely dodged a bullet when Irene decided to track northeast, but that’s no consolation for our friends in North Carolina and upward to the northeast. We felt an earthquake all the way down here in South Carolina, were amazed by the long distance the tremors traveled and seriously thought about whether or not we, and the rest of the east coast, are prepared for something bigger. Disaster recovery is something we’re all familiar with. We were all humbled by the outpouring support  when earthquakes brought Haiti and Japan to their knees. Or this spring when areas of Missouri and Alabama were ravaged by tornadic destruction. Giving is as easy as a text from your mobile phone. We even know someone that made a $25 donation to the Hope For Haiti telethon and got to speak with Quincy Jones.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Planning a Charitable Birthday Party

    August 10, 2011

    How many birthday parties did you take your kids to last weekend? It’s possible that you lost count. Nevertheless, celebrating birthdays is a very big part of growing up. Wearing your new birthday outfit, surrounded by all your friends at your favorite pool/pizza place/gymnasium/bouncy ball house/horse stable/tree house, etc. OH and all the presents! What could be more thrilling?

    Teaching our children that giving gifts is just as great as receiving is sometimes a tough lesson that falls on little deaf ears. But once they grasp the concept, the lesson may last a lifetime. So instead of filling your child’s already overstuffed toybox, consider making the next birthday party more meaningful by planning a Charitable Birthday Party. Here are some steps and ideas to help you:

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Engage Your Children – Play the Talk About Giving Game!

    August 2, 2011

    Unless you’re a child development specialist, raising children is not always intuitive. And even the experts experience situations with their own kids that leave them wondering if they handled things the right way. For many of us, teaching our kids about giving is no different. Where to begin? How do you instill generosity into their developing spirits and make philanthropy a part of their value system? Research indicates that actively engaging your children about how and why we should give yields more generous, empathetic children, but how do we start the conversation and maintain it, keeping it fresh, interesting and relevant?

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May 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Balancing Consumerism with Philanthropy

    May 26, 2011

    Raising the next generation of philanthropists means we have to do more than simplyteach them to give—we have to impart our value system for responsible resource management. Our kids should learn a healthy respect for the power of money—to do good or bad. In our increasingly materialistic and narcissistic society, it has become especially important to teach philanthropy and civic responsibility.

    Experts believe that consumerism is more prevalent than ever before. “Commercialism has never permeated society like this before,” says psychologist Susan Linn, co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are exposed to 40,000 ads every year. For young children who lack the ability to distinguish between program content and advertising, these commercials heavily influence the early development of their consumer ideals. Just take your six-year-old grocery shopping with you next time—does he ask for the plain cereal box or the one featuring his favorite cartoon character? 

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    So Much to Learn at Riverbanks Zoo - How About Giving?

    May 19, 2011

    When you roll towards Columbia on southbound I-77 you might notice the funny billboard in the Blythewood area featuring a tiger with a big “#1” foam finger on his paw. With ‘Best Of’ accolades from nearly every local publication, including one from Charlotte Parent, and regular honors from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, it’s not surprising that Riverbanks Zoo is the state’s number one attraction. Lucky for you, Talk About Giving is giving away four tickets to the Zoo this Family Fun Friday! Just visit our Facebook page and click the Family Fun Friday tab on the left for the Question of the Week. Respond for a chance to win!

    Visitors come from all over to enjoy the more than 2,000 animals, natural habitat exhibits and entertaining and educational opportunities offered by our nationally ranked Zoo and Botanical Garden. And not only is Riverbanks a favorite place for your family to see the animals, the Zoo is actively involved in a wide array of conservation and care efforts here regionally and internationally. So much goes on behind the scenes, and there are opportunities for us and our children to learn and get involved.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    South Carolina State Museum: Highly Ranked and Right in Your Backyard

    May 12, 2011

    People who don’t live in Columbia are always amazed to learn about all the great activities the Midlands offers. And, we can tell you that many states do not have anything like the South Carolina State Museum. What child doesn’t look forward to a field trip to the museum? School groups come from all over the state to enjoy its offerings. And what family isn’t excited to spend a day together there? What a great weekend outing! Through innovative partnerships, comprehensive collections (everything and more than you can hope to learn in third grade S.C history), and stimulating exhibits (have you SEEN Animal Grossology!?) and programs (on Saturday, May 14th there’s a great lecture on The Mystery of the H.L. Hunley), The S.C. State Museum provides educational environments that entertain, insppire imagination and creativity, and enrich the lives of its visitors. Did you know that it was voted one of the three top museums by Southeastern readers of Southern Living magazine, along with the High Museum in Atlanta and the Smithsonian Institution? Impressive. And it's right in our backyard.

    Read More »

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