Motherhood

A Bake Sale With Kids

Bake Sale with Kids

As Thanksgiving approaches, we’ve been talking to the boys about how we can, at least in a small way, come together and help people feel loved and supported. Most volunteer organizations aren’t able to accommodate child helpers, so my friend Linsey and I decided to have a bake sale with our kids…

Bake Sale with Kids

Bake Sale with Kids

Bake Sale with Kids

A few days before the bake sale, we invited neighborhood friends over to our apartment and asked them to bring homemade treats. We got an incredible haul — including seriously gooey coconut brownies and vanilla spice cookies. Our family made these easy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which are a longtime favorite around here.

Bake Sale with Kids

We set up a table on a nearby street that gets lots of foot traffic, and we held the sale from 3-4pm, when we figured passersby might be craving something sweet.

Bake Sale with Kids

Also, Linsey had a good tip: Instead of pricing each dessert individually, just ask people to “pay what they wish and take what they wish” — that way, people will often donate more overall (and get more cookies!).

Bake Sale with Kids

“She’s having her very first bite of cookie,” this mother told me. “This seems like a good time to do that.”

Bake Sale with Kids

Bake Sale with Kids

The boys were so excited every time someone stopped and donated.

Bake Sale with Kids

At the end, we counted up all the bills and discovered that the bake sale had earned $435 in 90 minutes! We couldn’t believe it! We donated all the money to the ACLU.

Bake Sale with Kids

It was a great afternoon, and we’d love to do more for causes we believe in. Do you have any other ideas for giving back with kids? I’d love to hear. xoxo

P.S. 5 ways to get involved, and books that teach kids empathy.

  1. Laura says...

    Hi Joanna,

    My awesome friend, Shana, created this amazing website the day after the election as a way to funnel her frustration and take action in a positive way:
    http://www.oneclickstandup.com/home.html

    It is a great resource for finding causes and organizations we care about! Power to the people!
    Keep up the great work,
    Laura

  2. Jess Farris says...

    I’ve read your blog so happily for years and I’ve worked at ACLU SoCal for 3 and to see two long-time loves combined filled my heart up. Thank you!

  3. This is so awesome! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Pin says...

    What a lovely way to get children involved in thinking about others!

    By chance, do you have the recipe for the coconut brownies? They sound delicious!

  5. Neha says...

    Firstly, I love this. Congrats to you and your boys on a successful bake sale… they’ll always remember this special day :) Feeling very inspired and want to do the same.

    I wanted more content to exist that teaches these important lessons. I recently launched Girls & Co (girlsand.co), a line of dolls with characters that are smart and ambitious. In our first book, the 7 characters start a school business together and ultimately decide to donate a portion of profits to an important cause that they believe in. I hope it empowers and inspires in its own little way.

  6. Lauren says...

    This is so awesome!
    Monthly, my daughter (3) and I go shopping for our food (and essentials) bank. It’s small, just $20 or $30 worth of goods, but we talk about picking things out and she helps me deliver them. Love all of these ideas and it’d be great if some were rounded up in a post? Hint, hint. :)

    • jules says...

      I love this and am going to start using it next year when my kiddo is old enough to get it. Thank you!

  7. Anna says...

    My nine-year old and his friends here in school have formed a ATC (anti-Trump club) – in Sydney, Australia

  8. Shirley says...

    Great job to the boys and what a great lesson they learned in giving! I’ve also been thinking about ways to get my 6 year old involved in volunteering, and I remember in my early 20s, I would volunteer with a local homeless shelter here in the DC area. I would play with the kids while the parents were in classes, and my favorite sessions were the birthday parties for the kids. While there were several adult volunteers, and the kids from the shelter played with each other, I am sure they would love to play with other kids as well. I hope to be able to bring my daughter to one of these parties, which would help bring joy to all of the children, and it would help my daughter learn about kids who aren’t as fortunate at this point in time.

  9. Audrey says...

    So, so awesome!!! I love it. Especially now that I need a constant reminder that there IS still good in the world.

  10. Julie says...

    What a great idea! I look forward to seeing that list mentioned above! My daughter made calls for Hillary the last couple of nights before election day and people were generally so receptive to her participating. We have to teach our kids that civic engagement is work, but that it can be fun!

  11. Allegra says...

    Joanna, Linsey, and kids: This is amazing. Thank you so much for doing this and for sharing.

  12. I am particularly taken with the correct use of the toy till…

  13. Amy says...

    This made my eyes tear-up and my heart swell. Such a great idea and a wonderful way to empower children to make positive changes.

  14. Oh my goodness, such a sweet idea! (Pun intended!) my nieces would love to do this 😊

  15. Carol says...

    If you do another one, may I recommend the Southern Poverty Law Center….I have a feeling they are going to need every dime.

  16. Martha says...

    Thank you for living the values you cherish in the America we love. Equality, diversity, tolerance and the rights of women to make their own choices, and encouraging geneorous open minds and the sharing delicious desserts and yummy snacks. You make the world a kinder gentler place Cup of Jo. Many thanks!

  17. I love this idea. Thank you for raising sweet little ones to be involved and care. We need that now and always.

  18. kay says...

    This is so sweet. Also, Toby looks so grown up!

  19. Anneka says...

    Cupofjo blog fame!! So lovely meeting you Joanna, and seeing what a sweet scene you all had going on. The cookies were delicious and a big hit at my dinner with friends that eve.

  20. sofija says...

    This made me teary-eyed! What a great bunch of kids – and parents!

    Couldn’t think of a better place to donate right now.

  21. Emily says...

    First of all, beautiful actions. Secondly- is Toby’s shirt on backwards? Because- awesome. Thanks for being a shining light these past two weeks, gals! xoxo

  22. cz says...

    Thank you for making me smile and bringing hope. I can’t stop feeling afraid when I read the news. So coming here to read your site is a pleasure – even more when witnessing the smiles on those children’s faces. Extra bonus points for donating to ACLU – I hope all of your followers are inspired to do the same. Instead of Black Friday – have a Bake Sale for a good cause!

  23. I helped out with a 2-day bake sale organized by a group of kids and their parents in my neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens this weekend. The sale raised $3,500 for two non-profit organizations that work with immigrant populations in our neighborhood. It was an amazing way for kids to feel empowered and to be proactive, and also to let members of the community know that neighbors are looking out for each other!

  24. Amelia says...

    Yes! Let’s support the ACLU with such sweetness! Love the photos:)

  25. Laura says...

    This weekend we participated in an annual volunteer event at our local JCC–the kids make Thanksgiving centerpieces (with donated canned goods in paper bags) and snack bags for local shelters. Also, my kids have enough toys and books (actually more than enough for this minimalist–I can’t get rid of them fast enough), so for their birthdays I started asking people to either bring non-perishable food which we donate, or to give in their name to an organization that is important to us. The kids are 1, 3, and 5 now so we’ll see how this process grows and changes as they get older, but we’ve talked about it and for now they’re on board.

  26. Kate says...

    Beautiful! Love it!

  27. Natasha says...

    Heartwarming! And awesome donation to ACLU. More important than ever!

  28. This made me smile!
    We are helping with the Kids’ food bags for Open Table. I love seeing my grandchildren involved in helping others, and it’s fun for them too.
    I will put the link up if anyone is in the Concord – Maynard MA area and would like to help!

  29. Mette says...

    Amazing! Just donated to Planned Parenthood today. We need action, people!

  30. A says...

    Fantastic idea. Thank you for supporting the ACLU!

  31. Love this!

  32. Robin says...

    Amazing! Such a great idea. And I agree on the pricing – I’ve done that in the past for charity bake sales at work. Much more effective in raising money and also makes it feels more like a collective process and a party instead of just a sale. Great to combine with a lottery or other (fundraising) game too.

  33. I love this!!!

  34. Elaine says...

    You are my hero.

  35. Vicki says...

    What an awesome way to start kids thinking about being helpers in the world. As a preschool teacher, and even more recently since the world turned upside down that fateful Wednesday, I think about my “kids” and what change they can make in the world. At 2 and 3, I feel that helping them feel proud to be themselves and seek ways to help others is a great start.

  36. This is so wonderful! You and your beautiful family give me so much hope for the future. The little things count, xxx.

  37. Erin says...

    This just made my day!!! I’m feeling really inspired – thanks for sharing <3

  38. RBC says...

    What a great idea!

    Andohmygoodnessdlinseycutherhair!?

  39. Just today I delivered some decorated brown paper lunch sacks to Kids Meals. I am a PreK teacher – my 3’s decorated the bags with stickers… (it was our Service Project for Thanksgiving). Loved your bake sale pics. Starting early – giving. sharing.loving. – that’s what it is all about.

  40. Leah says...

    What a great idea! Such a nice way to teach children the importance of giving back and helping their community. Nice work mommas!

  41. Emily says...

    That’s so great — love the pay-what-you-wish, idea too, very smart! And cookies are something everyone likes and makes sense for the season over something like lemonade. Love that you’re getting your kids thinking about others. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Jessie says...

    What a great idea to do the “Donate what you wish and take what you wish” My daughters did a lemonade stand during the marine Core Marathon but we didn’t make as much $$ as you guys did. We had to close down since we ran out. I also like the bake sale during 3-4 pm during the sweet craving hour. I think we’ll try it and donate to the Animal Welfare league.

  43. Way to go! My kids were begging me to have a lemonade stand this summer so one morning we made some cookies and lemonade and set up a table in our front yard. They are too small to know how to count money (5 and 3) and honestly they were so excited to fill up cups of lemonade when they had a customer that it didn’t matter! We also went with the “pay what you wish” approach and I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my neighbours!

    It was also an amazing opportunity to talk about helping others… That morning they decided they wanted to donate half the money they earned to the food bank so after the lemonade stand was done we went to the grocery store and purchased a cart full of food which they then put into the donation bin themselves. (To them this made more sense than the abstract idea of donating cash.) They still talk about that day all the time and I hope they always remember it! https://instagram.com/p/BGa_Mf0l9Ru/

  44. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
    – Margaret Mead

  45. Laura B. says...

    This is such a lovely post and the comments are giving me so many ideas! My mom taught 3rd grade for years and every year she partnered with a local nursing home and each child was matched with a resident “Grandpal”. It was an amazing win-win for the kids and residents. The kids practiced reading and writing, often working on projects with the residents to help edit their work! And those in the nursing home enjoyed quality time with little ones who they didn’t often get to interact with. Many of the kids and their grandpals continued relationships after the year was up, even inviting them for holiday and special celebrations!

  46. Helena says...

    Reading this post and the comments made me teary.
    I’ll be borrowing the ‘pay what you wish’ approach for our next bake sale – thank you!
    And I’m really appreciating the practical suggestions in the comments.

  47. Charli says...

    This is lovely! I work for a very unique organization in Austin called Little Helping Hands, and our mission is to engage children in volunteerism and empower them to make a difference in their communities. We put together almost 1000 volunteer opportunities each year for families to participate in together. The kids are always SO excited to help out and really learn a lot. https://littlehelpinghands.org/

  48. Miche says...

    I’m Jewish, and I grew up bringing a small amount of money to Sunday School every week to put in my class’s “tzedakah box,” which can be loosely translated as a collection box (“tzedakah” actually means “justice” in Hebrew.) At the start of every school year, our class would discuss which causes we wanted to support. As we grew older, the Sunday School curriculum evolved to included more nuanced discussions about giving, how to give, the philosophies behind giving, etc.

    Our temple also held an annual “mitzvah” (loosely translates to “good deed”) day, during which all the Sunday School classes would participate in some kind of charity work, such as sorting cans at the local food bank.

    As an adult, I make a point of giving around the high holy days, when the temple starts collecting for local charities. Although giving should theoretically happen throughout the year, it’s nice to come together as a community every fall and be reminded of its importance.

  49. Favorite post this year hands down. Thanks for brightening my day.

  50. Cynthia says...

    When my two girls were little, just before Thanksgiving, they would go through their toys and clean out the ones they didn’t play with anymore. My in-laws overloaded them with toys at Christmas and birthdays, and they were often toys my in-laws thought were cute, but did not appeal to our children. I cleaned them up if needed, and we took them to church to go to families in need. I explained to them that mommies and daddies have to pay Santa for the toys he brings, and some mommies and daddies didn’t have money for Santa Claus, so we needed to help out. One year, our family signed up to give a food box for a family in need, and they spent their allowances on instant hot chocolate and candy.
    In elementary school, they brought canned goods for the Christmas mother food drive, which benefited local needy families, including the elderly. They were raised to be generous and help those in need. Young children may not always understand money, but they do understand not having things.

  51. Heather says...

    Awesome. Just awesome.

  52. Love this! I needed that “restoration in humanity” moment today. Thank you for not only donating to ACLU, but for teaching your little ones about being charitable! <3

  53. Chesley says...

    This is wonderful! Absolutely wonderful.

  54. That is AWESOME! Great job, Cup of Jo team (and Toby and Anton and other babies)! So impressive and heartwarming :) A roadside bake sale is a wonderful idea. A couple years ago, my best friend and I (both in our twenties) decided to do volunteer gift-wrapping to raise money for a charity. We wrapped countless presents for almost 6 hours and earned just shy of $130. But this being LA, we had to pay $27 for parking … it’s the thought that counts, right? :)

  55. Katie says...

    all of the feels with this post. thank you ❤️❤️❤️

  56. Marina says...

    I read your blog often but usually never comment. As an attorney for the ACLU, I am so touched by this gesture. Thank you!

    • Kaitlin says...

      Thank you Marina! What important work you do!!

  57. Alison says...

    I’m participating in a great project that kiddos would love! Cards (homemade, store bought, your kid’s art, etc.) are currently needed so every mama and child currently in US immigration detention centers have a welcome message in their hands this holiday season. You can say happy holidays, best wishes, and how we’re with them. Spanish is encouraged, political messages are not, and sealed envelopes are NOT allowed in the centers. The good folks at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service will be distributing the cards in the nation’s 3 family detention centers if received by Dec. 12th. You can mail them to: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Hope for the Holidays, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230. There’s also an online gift registry for refugee children here: https://secure2.convio.net/lirs/site/Ecommerce?store_id=1301#.WDNStLIrJhE.

    • Amy says...

      Thank you! I lead a youth church group, and we’re working to provide service opportunities every week (and service recommendations for everyday) through the month of December. As a church, we’re especially interested in providing kindness to refugees, and I had never heard of this!

    • Tracy says...

      I was thinking about setting up some kind of easy thanksgiving day art project for the little kids coming over to our house on Thursday, to keep them occupied while the grownups hang out and get the meal ready. We will make cards for refugee children! Much better than drawing turkeys :). Thank you.

  58. Linny says...

    Love love love everything about this!

  59. This is so wonderful! The photo of the little one having her first bite of cookie made me teary. She will love that story as she gets older! :)

  60. Anna Vitale says...

    This bake sale breaks my pregnant, hyper-emotional heart into a million happy pieces. Thank you, Jo, for sharing and for involving your kiddos in such a meaningful activity. Small actions times all of us who care make a big difference.

  61. Renae says...

    I love this – such a great idea and teaches kids the value of volunteering. May I ask where you got Toby’s shirt?

    • Sarah says...

      It’s Winter Water Factory! Their stuff is the best, and if you live in New York, they sell it at wholesale prices at the Brooklyn Flea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love all they do!!! their online sales are great, too.

  62. Amy says...

    this is so amazing! well done!

  63. Sasha says...

    This post just makes me feel so good about our future. Thank you for doing good and teaching your little ones that doing good feels great. Plus, cookies!!!!

    My girls and I volunteered for several years at our local animal shelter, petting cats. It was so wonderful. I think we all felt we were making a big difference to those kitties waiting for forever homes.

  64. Shira says...

    Wait! That’s my sister-in-law checking out the offerings. Wow! Small world. And great idea Jo!

  65. heather says...

    We’ve been collecting a bunch of older towels that we’ll take to the local animal shelter with the kids. Our oldest is only 3.5, so he doesn’t really understand the concept of donating money, yet, but he does understand a kitty without a home needing something cuddly to sleep on. Seems a good enough place to start!

    I’m so impressed with the outpouring of support for the ACLU. I want to recommend to everyone who isn’t already on it to go to flippable.org and sign up. They send a daily email with the one thing you can do TODAY to help make a difference, whether it’s the phone number of a legislator + a model script, a petition to sign, etc. Today I donated to Foster Campbell’s campaign in Louisiana. It’s a long shot, but any chance to get a D in the senate…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great advice, heather, thank you!

    • Lexie says...

      Signed up! Thank you for the recommendation!

    • Gabrielle says...

      Brilliant, thanks for sharing Heather. Just signed up and shared with my activism group!

    • Oooh, good to know! Thank you, Heather! Signing up now.

    • Libbynan says...

      The hubs and I have been ACLU members for over thirty years. Both of our children used to be but had let their memberships lapse. Last week they both signed up again. Thanks everyone for renewed support. Love the bake sale idea!

    • Mary says...

      Signed up. Thank you!

  66. Hi! I volunteer at my local food bank twice a week here in WA, and you should check with your local organization to see how they feel about little volunteers–our location welcomes some VERY young helpers (as long as they’re accompanied by an adult). Little kids can help with everything from farm gleaning to sorting to handing out food, and they seem to really enjoy it.

    Also, if you have older kids in your family, food banks are a great way to talk to them about the *huge* environmental impacts of food waste, which is something we can all address on an immediate, personal level.

  67. Kim says...

    Absolutely beautiful!

  68. Katy says...

    THIS. I can do this. It’s so easy to feel powerless especially as a stay at home mom. But I can organize my friends with kids and we can do these all over town. Thank you for the inspiration. Texting all my friends now!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, katy!!!!

  69. Claire says...

    I’m glad you’re sharing the love for that cookie recipe – it’s the best!

  70. Amy says...

    When I saw this on Instagram I thought “oh, what a cute idea!”
    Now that I know what you were selling….well, I’m going to be needing those recipes ;) I couldn’t make it to the bake sale from the opposite coast haha!

  71. Jessica says...

    I’ve read and loved your blog for years because of its kind and approachable style. This is a scary time for so many of us and it means a lot to see posts like this. The rise in hate crimes, even in these parts, and the people who are potentially being considered to serve with the new administration prove that organizations like the ACLU are more important than ever. Thank you for using your platform for good and for keeping the dialogue going.

    • Jeanne says...

      So well said. Ditto!!!

  72. So great meeting you on Sat. The cookies were so delicious and the kids seemed really excited to be involved! Thanks again for setting it up and I hope you do another one soon!

  73. Jess says...

    This is awesome! I teach 4th grade and I think kids often want to help others, but don’t know exactly how to do it. It’s wonderful when adults can help direct them. :) My class is working on a fundraiser for our local Humane Society later this month.

  74. love.

    i’m inspired to do this with my girls, in our town.

    thank you!

  75. Alice says...

    Thank you for doing this!

  76. Aileen says...

    We are trying to teach our 4 year old that there are people less fortunate than us in the world and the other night I realised that she can teach us more. We were walking through town to get a taxi and she wanted to stop and give pennies to the homeless people and sat down with them to find out why they were sleeping on the pavement. We don’t live in a poor city but recently our city has hit some very hard times and more and more people are in situations that they can’t help. Anyway we have a lot of foodbanks in our city and normally when we are in our Supermarket we get our daughter to pick some items to donate. Also as one of her advent calendar activities we do one big food shop and donate to our local foodbank. She has also asked if we can donate blankets and sleeping bags to the homeless people she met as she told me that she lives in a proper house so they can have her blankets. We all try to raise our kids to have a social conscience but when they actually want to do something, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Well done to the boys for doing their bake sale and raising pennies. I also want to thank you for your recent posts. I always enjoy your blog but I have really enjoyed (if that’s the correct word) your political posts as they felt so real. I am across the pond in Bonny Scotland ad the majority of us are horrified that Mr Trump is going to be your next President. Keep up the good work both with your blog and raising your lovely boys. xx

  77. K. says...

    thank you for doing this. I showed my kids my recent donations to the anti-defamation league and the trevor project It’s important for them (and us!) to know that a gesture of any size(meaning whatever you can contribute) counts towards making the world a better place. I told them I was making phone calls to people in congress ( via project1460 suggestions) and think it’s important for them to see that it’s always worth standing up for what you believe in, especially when it helps others. It’s easy to be downtrodden and cynical these days but showing positive action, empathy and some optimism sure beats antipathy – that is a huge lesson for any kids to learn and see modeled.

  78. Tricia says...

    This is awesome. A friend recently had a get-together for kids and adults to pack up kits for people who are homeless – each kit included a pair of socks, a Kind Bar, and assorted other useful items. Each kit also included a note of encouragement. The party organizer then took all the kits to a local shelter.

    Another way to have good discussions with kids about social issues is to think about how to make your holiday gifts (at least some of them) meaningful. As a family, you can donate to Heifer in honor of another family and supply someone in a developing country with baby rabbits or chicks or a even a cow…or support woman artisans in Peru…you get the idea. Or you can purchase gifts for your kids that support some good cause – like stocking stuffers from Ten Thousand Villages.

    I love that you thought of this.

  79. Laura C. says...

    Haha I love this idea! I can’t believe how tall Toby is! and Anton’s faces are the best.
    Loving the little cash register- very useful too!
    I am not sure if you can do this in my country- I mean, to sell food on the street without permission. If I could, I would bake lots of scones and donate to LBBC or AACR or Red Cross… Again, congratulations Joanna! You did it well!

  80. So cool! I’m curious, did the kids understand the idea of donating money to someone else? How did you explain it to them? I’m not yet a parent so I don’t know at what age kids start understanding what money is. (I remember thinking my mom had unlimited money because she wrote checks.)

  81. Joanna says...

    Wonderful idea. If you are open to other nonprofits as well, I highly HIGHLY recommend Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, cookiesforkidscancer.org. Two classrooms’ worth of kids are diagnosed with cancer every single day, and they are treated with drugs originally developed for adults. You can find out a lot at the CFKC website. So many important causes we can support!

  82. I love that you’re teaching your kids lessons like this. It gives me great hope for the future!

  83. karen says...

    THIS IS EXCELLENT!

    While I am already girding myself for the inevitable comments from people saying they are never going to read here again, because ACLU–I want to add my voice to those supporting/grateful/thankful that you are continuing to do this and post about and it and talk about it and refuse to normalize what happened when a white nationalist platform moved from alt-right to mainstream two weeks ago.

    Thanks again and again.

    • I so agree with this, Karen.

    • Hear, hear!

  84. I just love this idea! My twin girls love to help me bake and I’m sure they’d be great at selling the goodies they make. There’s an organization near me that packs meals for the children in the local school who may not have much food at home. The entire community gets involved with the donations and packing the meals that are distributed on the school busses. Even little kids can help pack the meals.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

  85. Awads says...

    Great idea! i just this weekend joined the ACLU and the NCAAP! I don’t know why i never though to officially join before, but now it seems more important than ever to put my money where my big mouth is. A bake sale may be in my son’s future, too!

    Cheers!

  86. Alex says...

    I actually saw you guys on Saturday. We were in Carroll Gardens for the day from Hoboken. We should have stopped but my 4 year old was fussy and needed to get to the playground ASAP. Sounds like the bake sale was a great success and what a wonderful way to get your kids engaged with the world. My family just participated in a book drive for refugee kids and we will be working with our son to choose an organization for some of his piggyback money. I plan to present him with 3-4 organizations and let him decide where he wants to send the money.

    I’m a nonprofit professional with a focus on volunteerism and civic engagement so this is such a meaningful topic for me. There are some volunter opportunties for younger kids in NYC and lots that can be done remotely. I’m actually in the process of compiling a list of volunteer opportunities for young kids. I’m hoping to use it to provide experiences for my own child and to share with others. I would be happy to send to you when I’m done.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that would be wonderful, alex! thank you!!

    • Rachel says...

      Joanna, please would you post Alex’s list when you get it so the rest of us can benefit too? And thank you for this BRILLIANT idea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      for sure! (if it’s okay with you, alex!)

  87. Rebecca Titlow says...

    Amazing! We recently held one for Children’s Hospital Boston ~ it was a live and virtual lemonade stand and our 6-year olds ran it. The live one raised $1000 and the virtual raised another $5000. The kids were amazed and beyond proud. My daughter then decided to donate all her birthday presents to the hospital as well ~ it’s a contagious and wonderful high and we love encouraging it!! Go Toby, Anton, and friends!
    P.S. I love your choice of a nonprofit!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is wonderful, rebecca!

  88. wow that’s amazing! Love the idea of not asking for a specific amount nor limiting how many treats to take.

    • Sasha says...

      Our church calls it a “free love offering”, we used it for the annual church rummage sale. It eliminates tagging, haggling, wondering how much to charge, merchandise goes faster and you sell more items, people really like it, makes it easier on someone who has less, and you make more money. Every time. You really do.

  89. I’ve been modeling charitable acts lately by running a fundraiser at my daughter’s school and helping our elderly neighbors with everyday tasks. My daughter hasn’t needed much encouragement to help out – the truth is, she (as most kids do, I reckon) loves to contribute get involved. Next, we plan on bringing old coats to our local coat drive, and pick out toys for our local Toys for Tots collection. This time of year there’s quite an abundance of opportunities to give back to those who need it.

  90. Geri Gaskill says...

    WOW!!! AND HURRAH!!!

  91. Yo Anton! Stop eating the merchandise!

    (Seriously. His face in those photos kill me!)

  92. Christie says...

    As a Jewish family, we take very seriously the requirement to give Tzedakah (literally, righteousness, but sort of like charity) and gemilut hasidim (giving loving kindness). Every Friday at shabbat dinner, we put tzedakah in our tzedakah box, and at the end of the year, we donate all of the money we saved for the year. Last year, we took it to our local food pantry, which gave us a tour as a family of their facilities. We talk about social justice issues at dinner, and about what it means to treat others with respect and kindness, from the homeless people in our local park, to our refugees, to our pets. We make these topics and issues part of our way of life.

    • Lily says...

      I came here to make the same comment! My kiddo is four and a half and goes to a Jewish preschool, so tzedakah is one of the school’s core values. Each classroom has their own tzedakah jar that they use to collect money throughout the week. On Friday, during the Shabbat service at school, each class representative brings up their tzedakah box and adds the money into the school’s larger box. As the kids file up to add in their contributions, we sing “With My Own Two Hands” (“I can change the world with my own two hands/Make a better place with my own two hands…”)

      Kids have a great sense of what’s fair and unfair, and really can grasp some people having more than other people (split a cookie in uneven pieces and give the larger piece to another kid if you don’t believe this!) It’s never too early to instill this idea of doing your part to make the world a better place.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are such beautiful comments, thank you!

    • Kaycee says...

      I love it! I’m Muslim, and we have 2 types of charity, “zakaat”, which is mandatory charity and the second is “sadaqah” which means voluntary charity. When I read the Jewish word for charity (tzedakah) it reminded me of sadaqah. I love how there are all these little things that show how beautifully interconnected we are despite differences. :-)

  93. Rachel says...

    What a great idea, thanks for sharing this! There are so many causes to give to right now, but one that has resonated with me as a parent is this one:
    http://www.carrythefuture.org/
    I think it’s important to teach children how much they have to be thankful for (a roof over their heads, food, warmth, etc.) and that they have peers all over the world who lack these basic things. Especially if you are a family that is getting rid of baby things–blankets, carriers, etc.–this could be a great way for kids to learn to share what they have with others in need.

  94. Abbie says...

    What a FANTASTIC idea. You are the coolest mom out there.

  95. Irena says...

    I love that you did this and especially that you chose the ACLU. What a wonderful way to have your children involved and recognize that there is always something they can do.

    Now, we adults need to step up our own contributions (time, money, etc.) to those causes we feel need help.

    And you guys made so much money in an hour and a half. WOW!

    Great example and reminder for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  96. I loved having bake sales as a kid! I spent summers at Point Pleasant Beach and had one with my cousin every year. As we got older we got more creative and started selling homemade goods. What a fun way to set one up in a city!

  97. Liz says...

    My mom and I took my three kids to pack meals with Feed My Starving Children. They let kids as young as 5 volunteer, and my 5 year old daughter did great! (They all did.)

    We’ve also found that nursing homes/assisted living facilities are a great place to volunteer with kids. The residents love seeing kids, and there are always loads of jobs to be done, even by the youngest members of the group. Bonus if you run an activity while you are there.

    • Nicole says...

      Feed My Starving Children is such an amazing organization, I appreciate you mentioning it! :) It’s one of very few charities that keep so little % for overhead costs and is doing so much for the impoverished. Cheers to you!

  98. Kim says...

    I. Love. This.

  99. Erica H. says...

    Inspiring! I’m going to try this with my kiddos :)

  100. Suzann says...

    Joanna! That’s amazing for 90 minutes! I don’t have kids, but what a great idea to give back and get your littles involved. I set up quarterly donations to four local organizations here in Austin that work for immigrants, gay youth, women, and the homeless. But I’m also looking for volunteer opportunities. I’ve always wanted to be more involved with these causes and the election outcome has really gotten me off my butt.

  101. Pay/take what you wish – SUCH a good idea! Often with bake sales, the returns are often so tiny compared with the need – remember that bumper sticker that went something like “It’ll be a great day when our schools have the resources they need and the military must hold a bake sale to pay for a fighter jet” ..? But this policy helps even it out a bit. Will keep in mind! Thank you so much for doing this – and for teaching Toby and Anton about civic engagement. They are our future!

  102. Linds says...

    Thank you for doing this. Feeling inspired by the recent support for great causes! My family set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is wonderful, linds!

  103. Mara says...

    This makes me cry! Well done to all of you. Thinking of doing the same thing now.

  104. Natalie says...

    “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass”….a piece of my favorite verse of scripture and it popped into my head after reading this article. Good work! XO

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is beautiful!

  105. This is so awesome. I will pass this idea along to my friend in Brooklyn that has small kids of her own.