For kids like Abbie Perryman of Lake Zurich, whose mom Nikki Perryman works at Northwestern Mutual's McTigue Financial Group as director of operations, this year's summer fun included a trip to their parents' office in downtown Chicago for Take Your Kids to Work Day 2014.
The day featured a lesson in both financial literacy and the importance of helping others, and ended with a sweet taste of ice cream.
In the spirit of teaching the kids what services the financial planning firm provides, the kids, ranging in age from 3 to 18, were introduced to "Penny the Pig," a clever piggy bank designed to help young people plan and learn to manage money.
"It's never too early for kids to get a head start on their long-term financial security," said Michelle Romano, chief financial officer, who outlined the components of the four-slotted piggy bank.
The slots on Penny the Pig show the four ways people use money: spend, save, donate, or invest, she explained. To make the general use more personal for kids, a sheet of stickers was provided.
"By putting the stickers on their bank, kids can visualize their goals," she added.
For a host of other resources that can help give kids a financial head-start, visit TheMint.org, a website from Northwestern Mutual filled with games, quizzes and other tools that can help make financial concepts fun and easy to learn.
Take Your Kids to Work Day 2014 also featured an opportunity to engage the kids' compassion and offer them a chance to give of their time and talent to affect the lives of others.
The kids drew inspiring homemade cards that were donated to Cardz for Kidsz!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting the spirits of hospitalized and/or traumatized children across the globe by delivering inspiring homemade cards.
The financial planning firm also kicked off its initiative to support Alex's Lemonade Stand by raising funds and increasing awareness to fight childhood cancer. Managing Partner John McTigue donated $100 for each child who attended the program while the children and their parents hosted a lemonade stand for visitors.
In total, they raised more than $4,600 in the first of several fundraising activities the network office has planned for 2014.
The day was brought to a close with an ice cream social, but their parents assured them that was not really part of their normal day at the office.
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