October 16, 2020


Even before COVID hit, Australia was rapidly transitioning towards a cashless society. With cash becoming a thing of the past, it’s important to teach kids the value of the dollar and how to give back.

To stop kids of the 21st century thinking our little plastic cards hold a never-ending stream of money, it is important to show them the value of just one dollar to give back and to help those less fortunate.

For those looking for some cost-effective ways for young kids to give back, here are our top five recommendations:

Donate used bottles and cans:

When you have kids, it isn’t uncommon to go through many drink containers in one week. Instead of putting them in kerbside recycling, take your kids down to their local recycling machine where each eligible bottle can be exchanged for 10 cents. While there, they will also have the opportunity to donate some of their 10c refunds to TOMRA’s new ‘Bottles Can Change Lives’ appeal which is raising crucial funds for OzHarvest, Beyond Blue and The Salvation Army to support Aussies doing it tough during COVID-19. Go to bottlescanchangelives.org.au to find your nearest recycling machine.

Knitting for cats

Donating isn’t just about helping people in need, it applies to our furry friends too. If you are good with a knitting needle or love to crochet, try getting your kids involved through the Cat Protection Craft Club. Cat Protection Society is a no-kill shelter, meaning that they look after a variety of cats until they find their fur-ever homes and as a result, the company is always in need of blankets and toys. With patterns for blankets and toys for both beginners and experts, everyone is able to make and donate something the cats will love.

Go through your pantry

Everyone knows Aussies went a little crazy at the beginning of 2020, stocking up on tinned items and toilet paper that we will never use. Food pantries, food banks and food rescue programs are available across the country to collect food and redistribute it to those in need. Teach your kids to give back to those less fortunate by taking them through your pantry and showing them what they can donate to the local food rescue charity.

Find a dollar, give it away

Kids love a treasure hunt, so next time you give them some extra pocket money for completing their weekly chores, get them to look out for specially marked dollar coins. The Royal Australian Mint has recently produced millions of “Donation Dollars” as their way of taking part in this year’s International Day of Charity. The new coins in circulation act as a daily reminder for Aussies to help charities in need. Even for those without the cash to spare, just one dollar makes a difference.

Help native wildlife

Donating doesn’t need to cost a cent. In fact, it can be as simple as helping your native wildlife have easy access to fresh water and a place to cool down during the heat of summer. Once it starts to heat up, encourage your kids to fill up a small tub of water and place it in the backyard. This way native birds, koalas and other animals can get some much-needed respite from the hot sun.

What do your kids do to give back? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • If kids visit elderly grand parents for fun, sleepovers such as special movie nights or special outings where possible – and not just for free babysitting care – it brings great joy for both and can build very special relationships.


  • We do lots of things to give back and donating bottles and containers is easy and donating food too. There are so many ways to give back and teaching kids at a young age to give back has long term benefits for communities.


  • I like the idea of this post. I’m going to start thinking a lot more about instilling this value with my kids. Thanks for the ideas so far.


  • lots of little contributions can make a difference to so many. Very important to teach kids


  • So many great ideas and tips that kids could do


  • Great tips. I have never heard of the knitting for cats one. Thats a fantastic idea.


  • We have water bowls and food bowls in the front yard for strays.
    Any leftovers are taken out to the bowls and we always ensure there’s water in the other bowl.
    We also buy bird seed and scatter it around the yard for the birds.
    I feel so sorry for ibis’ and how their homes all got destroyed so whenever I see one in the yard, bub and I will go inside and get some bread to feed it.


  • I need to need to look at that knit for cat. Thx

    • Yes I haven’t heard of it either


  • My kids save the lids off milk bottles for “Lids for Kids” – it turns the lids into things like ramps to assist disabled kids.

    • So good !

      • Instilling these values early in life is so important! Well done!


  • Never heard of knitting for cats before. Glad people are giving to others and teaching their children as well.


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