From October 28, 2015 New York Times Motherlode by Ron Lieber
If you want to teach your children about money, giving them an allowance is a great place to start. They’re going to need a place to put it, which is how the three-jar system came into existence: one for spending, one for saving and one for giving.
Almost every child understands the first jar and has a long list of things they want to spend money on right now. The save jar teaches patience, a concept that parents are constantly trying to reinforce in all sorts of ways.
But the give jar is more mysterious. Give to whom? And why give at all? Quite often our instinct is to answer children’s questions about giving in the abstract: Because it’s the right thing to do. To give back. Our religious tradition requires it.
Many of these answers won’t satisfy your children’s curiosity and intense desire for specificity, so let me suggest another one: One great reason to give is to honor your own family’s history of being helped.