I have always made an effort to expose my children to the concept of "Charity", of helping others however you can, even if it's only a small gesture. That repeatedly, small gestures turn into something bigger. That we can help make this world a better place if we care and keep trying.
It seems to be working.
My six year old's school has a bake sale often to help fund various academic programs. Each item is usually 25 cents for a cookie, small cupcake, brownie, or other home baked goodies.
We usually give her $1 for the sale and tell her she can buy 4 "goodies" or buy one or two and share the money with a friend who has none. I stress that it is up to her.
When she gets in the car at school pick up time, I always ask her how her day was, asking questions like, "So, what did you buy at the bake sale?"
Yesterday, she made me so proud with her response.
"I bought two cookies, Mommy. They were really yummy. I ate one and gave one to [another student's name] who had no money. I had two moneys left so I put them in the jar for helping the poor people. I do that every time we have a bake sale."
She then started laughing at her sister, who had been stretching her little hand toward her big sister while being strapped in her car seat.
They started making frog sounds back and forth to another and I drove to the house, passing a pond with geese and ducks on the way.
Soon, I plan on telling her more about charity. How we can donate money, and help raise money, to make a difference. To give an underfunded school a library, to build a monument to a local hero so that the community can continue to be beautiful and feel inspired to strive for better, to give shoes to children who have none, to bring about changes in laws so that children and the environment can be better protected.
For now, I'll keep donating with them to local organizations that help immigrants, being a lunch room Mama and Classroom Mama while they accompany me, cooking for local fundraising events, baking cookies for the nursing home, growing our own garden, and helping them work out in their own minds what they can do in this world to make a difference. Because I know they can. I know they will.
Another Immigrant Family
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