Founding Moms of Present Now Make Giving a Family Affair Courtesy PresentNow.org For children the holidays are often all about getting gifts, but they can also gain a joyful experience by giving to others during the holidays and year-round, according to the co-founders of Present Now, a Los Angeles-based gift-giving charity that serves disadvantaged children living in domestic violence shelters.Erica Fisher and Melanie Neumann, both mothers of three children, applied their personal and professional backgrounds to create Present Now, and through their example they hope to impart to their own children the rewards of giving.“The holiday season is a great opportunity to teach children life-long lessons about charity, generosity and volunteerism,” says Erica Fisher, co-founder of Present Now, who herself benefited from an early education about charity as a child by following the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah, whereby she and her family gave to others who were less fortunate. Likewise, Present Now co-founder Melanie Neumann, has been a longtime donor and volunteer for charities and as a professional fundraiser and event planner has dedicated her career to organizations that give back to the community. “My children see that I am passionate about giving and making a difference, and it has made them want to volunteer and do what they can for others too,” says Neumann. “They often help out when we deliver gifts at the shelters for the children, and it is something they enjoy doing and ask if they can do it again.”Fisher and Neumann offer these tips for getting children involved in charitable giving.•Talk to children as young as four or five years old about how we all need to take care of others, especially those less fortunate.•Ask older children, around age five or six, to help gather up unused toys to donate to children in need. Explain that they their donations will make other children happy.•Talk to your children’s preschool and elementary school about their charitable programs. Ask how you and your children can help. If they do not have a dedicated charity, ask to form a committee to choose a charity and get the children and parents involved.•With your children, choose a charity or several charities that your family will support. Choose a charity that your children can relate to, especially those that benefit your own community and that serve other children. •Volunteer with your children at a local charity, stuffing envelopes, sorting supplies, serving food, or whatever is needed.•Make giving of your time and money a regular part of your family life, and involve your children. Have children place the envelope in the church collection, ask for their help collecting items around the house to donate, let them pick out a new toy to donate to a toy drive, have them accompany you to drop off donations, etc.According to Fisher and Neumann, if parents instill in their children early in life that charitable giving is a fulfilling experience, and not an obligation, children will look for ways on their own to give back and make a difference, to make the world a better place for those around them.