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“If you lead a compassionate life, your children will naturally see its importance to you and will assume its importance for themselves,” says Jim Taylor Ph.D.
This is a concept that hits home with Arizona mothers Lisa Geyser and Alex Sklar who founded the charity Families Giving Back. It is all based on parents bringing their children, no matter how young, to volunteer.
“We felt like this was something that was missing in the community, this was something we wanted for our boys. We started talking and we thought if it doesn’t exist, let’s create it.”
That was in 2012. Since then, Sklar and Geyser have teamed up with over 20 non-profits to host family friendly events 2 to 3 times a month. Many of them sell out.
Fundamentally, they wanted to teach their boys about compassion, empathy, and kindness. Their boys began to volunteer before they were even three years old.
“It was important to us, that they understand there comes a responsibility to help those who are less fortunate,” Sklar says, “But also to view those people with as much respect and compassion as you would your family.”
With so much hatred and turmoil in the world today, it seems more important than ever to raise children who can understand what it is to be kind and decent to others.
“Because of the messages of selfishness and disregard for others that popular culture communicates these days, your children aren’t likely to learn compassion on their own,” Dr. Taylor writes in Psychology Today. “You must nurture the ability to care about others in their early years. If the value of compassion isn’t evident in your daily lives, your children are less likely to develop compassion and will ultimately become emotionally and socially disconnected from the larger world in which they live. Only when children are immersed in a compassionate world will they come to see the value of compassion and embrace it as their own.”
A value these mothers, and now hundreds of parents and children in the Phoenix area are embracing by taking action together — as a family.
For more information on Families Giving Back visit