PAUL SMITHS - The folks at New & Improved LLC and the members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 12 are throwing the 17th annual Joy of Giving party, inspired by research that points the way toward energizing a strong commitment to altruistic behavior in children.
The party will be from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Paul Smith's College Forestry Cabin; follow the "Joy" signs once on campus. There will be music, song, dance and snacks, but this is not an ordinary holiday children's party.
Organizers hope young children who come to the party can be helped by their parents to have a personal commitment to the gift they give, and personally select and present the gift to the elves on hand. The best example of this is when the child chooses something he or she is currently playing with and getting great enjoyment from - and they want another child to get the same enjoyment. Organizers would rather see an old, "ungivable" gift that the child has an attachment to than one a parent bought to give. The primary purpose is to use the party as a vehicle for fostering long-term altruism; collecting gifts that can actually be re-given is a by-product only.
One child one year actually gave (and gave up) her pacifier. The elves who arrived at the party via horse-drawn sleigh knew exactly who was going to get that pacifier and told the giver all about that child. The elves will know who will receive the gift your child brings and will tell your child a bit about them. The idea is, when we can visualize the specific recipient of our altruism, we are more likely to want to be a "giver" in the future.
For more information, call Sheila Delarm or Bob Eckert at 518-327-3554.