Giving Sadaqah (charity) is not only a great way to fulfill the needs of the poor, but also serves as a purification of the heart. Therefore, it is important to instill a sense of compassion and the love for charity in your children from an early age on.
To help you achieve this, I want to focus on three, hopefully original ideas to involve your entire family when giving Sadaqah. However, since they are all considered monetary charity in one way or another, it is important to let your family know that there are many ways to give what is called physical charity: like smiling at others or removing something harmful from the road, and that every good deed, no matter how small, is considered Sadaqah.
1. Sponsor an orphan
There are various ways on how to go about sponsoring an orphan. One way that I know of is doing so through the organization called Islamic Relief. The sponsorships they offer definitely do not cost the world and many Muslim families can afford it. For the two Eids, you can send extra money to make sure that the orphan child also gets to enjoy the religious holidays. The sponsorship will in sha Allah broaden the cultural horizon of your children because they will be likely to develop an interest for the country and culture that the orphan is from. To strengthen the bond between the orphan and your family even more, you can write letters to them as a family or help your kids do so. Know that you and your family will be giving this child opportunities that he/she would otherwise never have. And since your family will be supporting an orphan for many years to come, you will all in sha Allah be showered with blessings and be close to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in Paradise, as he (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them. [Bukhari]
2. Host a dinner party
I personally am not a huge fan of hosting dinner parties during Ramadan as I feel it takes away precious time from important worship. However, I don’t have anything against them during the rest of the year – if they are done with the right intention that is. Why not invite some family friends and/or neighbors over for dinner, preferably some who have kids themselves? This in itself is already considered Sadaqah. Get your whole family involved when it comes to the preparation of the dinner. Decide on a meal with your kids and spouse, go grocery shopping as a family and spend time in the kitchen together preparing the food. Decorate the table and create a nice atmosphere for your guests. Once a year or so, you can take it to the next level by inviting more people to the dinner party and at the same time collecting money for a good cause. Make sure to agree with your family and guests on a charity or project to give it to. This way, you will not only be rewarded for feeding others, but also for encouraging them to spend in the path of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) themselves.
3. Visit a local orphanage
Look for an orphanage in your area and plan a visit with your family. Speak to the person in charge and agree on a date and time. Let your kids help you prepare little goodie bags filled with sweets, pencils, uplifting hadiths/quotes etc. Most of the children at orphanages have been through a lot, so if you, or anyone you know, are able to make balloon sculptures and similar handicrafts, use this talent to make them laugh. You can also encourage your kids to bring some of their favorite books, so they read stories to the children at the orphanage. Also, buy some other essentials, like soap, toothpaste, towels or food items depending on what the orphanage needs the most. This visit will definitely be something that your kids will remember for a long time. In sha Allah, they will realize how good their life is and will appreciate you as their parents much more.
Make the intention along with your loved ones to try out (at least) one of the above-mentioned projects on the coming weekend or the first available opportunity. I would love to know if you have any more ideas on how to give Sadaqah as a family.
Feel free to share them in the comment section below!