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For Parents

As a parent, grandparent or guardian, you can work wonders nurturing philanthropy in your child. 26 Steps can help—every step of the way.

Philanthropy is about giving—time, money, care, attention—to help others and make the world a better place. It’s not just for the affluent.

For many children, generosity comes naturally. They want to help—especially other children. They just need guidance.

Yet many parents who give to their communities and charitable organizations aren’t sure how to explain to their children why they give and how kids can too. Many practice philanthropy out of sight, though kids often learn best when taught by those they trust most.

We founded 26 Steps to close that gap, to help parents introduce their children to a lifetime of giving. It provides tools for the next generation of philanthropists, developing habits of independence, kindness, good judgment and responsibility. Here are the steps we’re taking:

  • Working with those who share an interest in teaching values-based philanthropy to children and grandchildren
  • Offering expertise in the creation of family mission statements and charters, family offices and family foundation planning
  • Sharing 26 Steps stories to inspire future philanthropists
  • Providing age-appropriate children’s philanthropy ideas, books, games, and more
  • Developing this area of the Boston Children’s Web site with stories, tips and advice on how kids can volunteer and fundraise for worthy causes, news and reports about special events, a book list, downloads and games


And that’s just for starters! We have big plans to grow 26 Steps in many directions. Boston Children’s Hospital is the place you trust with your children’s health. With 26 Steps, we’re becoming the resource for raising kids who want to make the world a better place.

Why "26 Steps"?

To us, Katie Lynch epitomized generosity—with a huge dose of courage and unflagging good cheer. She's our hero, our shining example, a Boston Children's patient for all of her 27 years who undertook what was for her an enormous physical challenge—walking 26 feet at the 2001 Boston Marathon—to raise money for the hospital she loved. Her personal motto, "small but powerful," is exactly what 26 Steps is all about—and why we named the program after her.

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