Friday, November 19, 2010

Give

As we come fully into the holiday season, I wanted to write about something close to my heart.  Something that I have always tried to do in some way since I was a child, and something that I have taught my children to do.

Give.

It's so easy to get caught up in the wanting of the season that the giving can be overlooked, especially for little ones. 

It's important to teach them the value of helping others.  Of selfless acts.  Of kindness. 

Every year since we have been married, I have given to an angel tree somewhere.  You can usually find them in the mall.  At school for a few years, there have been sponsored families in need.  Though we don't have much extra around here, and sometimes we squeeze every drop out of the pennies we have, we have vastly more than many other people do. 

My children need to understand that.  I think that they do.

The older three gave up all of their Halloween candy for the soldiers overseas.  Every bit of it, save the few pieces they ate that night.  Even AJ, the candy lover that he is, he grabbed some of his candy and put it in the boxes.

Last year, Aidan's Cub Scout pack did their first real giving since he'd been a member.  Tom set them up to sing Christmas carols at a nursing home in town.  I think that the boys understood that night how something as simple as 30 minutes of their time singing could mean to others.  That the simple gift of their time could brighten the day of someone else.

Ally's Daisy troop just did a food drive.  A little one since they are a little troop filled with little girls, but a food drive none the less.  We donated over twenty five pounds of food to a local assistance group. 

Last night my husband picked up two turkeys for a drive at work, and this morning we left early and got another one for a drive at school.  Aidan picked out the turkey, and Ashley jumped at the chance to turn it in. 

We were looking at Christmas cards last night to pick out which we will send this year and noticed that some of them are charity cards, with a percentage being donated to an organization of your choice.  Tom quickly noted that we'd be better off to get cheaper cards somewhere else and give the money directly to the charity, since we'd be able to give them more.  Our charity, The American Lung Association.

I got my first email for the Relay for Life 2011 yesterday.   Ironically, Ashley was just asking me about it a few days ago.  She wants to know when we can do it again, and what other fundraisers we can do.  This year, she wants to make tooth fairy wands and sell them at the Relay, turning over the money to the American Cancer Society.

My kids will get just about everything on their Christmas lists this year.  Before they do, though, they will fill their stockings on Christmas Eve with toys for Santa to take to other children who need them more. 

They get it.  They understand. 

Give time.  Give money.  Give help.  Give.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

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