A little girl I know baked cookies and sold them for $1 to raise funds for charity. Her parents asked me for suggestions of a children's charity because I work for a non-profit in Cambodia. The key was that they wanted it to be a teaching moment for her. Some initial ideas were that she could give the cash directly then meet and play with the children, or use the money to buy something physical like toys etc and give them to the charity. In the end, she took the money to the office of a very nice local children's charity and was thanked by one of the staff and had her photo taken with them. She was stoked and everyone was happy. Because as nice as a lesson it would have been for her - flip it round and think how the children at the charity would feel having a relatively rich kid come down with a donation and expecting them to play with her. Her parents also were able to explain that the charity knew what they need to spend the money on best and gently persuaded her away from buying gifts in kind. You shouldn't use the poor to 'teach' your children lessons. Teach them about the social justice issues, teach them about researching effective charities, but not as some kind of twisted gratitude lesson. I have such mixed feelings about articles like this because with my Non-profit Director hat on, I recognise that people donate for lots of reasons, and sentimental donations make just as much difference as practical donations. But it still worries me.