(Inside: How to teach your kids to give from the heart using the once-a-month strategy.)
I can’t remember what organization the radio commercial was for, but I remember the message very well. The line, “Remember when you almost gave…” was repeated ending with the numerous things that move us and we think about giving or doing something about it, but we don’t execute.
That is how I have felt about that World Vision catalog that comes in the mail every Christmas. I flip through the pages and my heart stirs for the needs of the people in it. I think we for sure should give this Christmas. Then the catalog ends up buried in a drawer.
This year was different. I wanted our family to give one less Christmas gift to each other so we would have some money left over to buy a gift out of the catalog for those in need.
I explained this to my boys as we paged through the magazine. Of course, they loved the idea of giving a chicken or a cow or a goat…or something equally as awesome. (“And mom, why can’t we buy a cow for our backyard?”} I held my younger two’s attention for about five minutes, then they bounced around the room in excited anticipation of driving the next morning to Nana and Papa’s house for Christmas. I couldn’t really blame them, I was pretty excited too.
But, my oldest carefully pondered what we should choose to give. He finally settled on the gift of fresh water.
What happened next is what makes me what to continue on this journey of wanting to share this Jesus that makes me so happy through giving and serving more. Because I ‘m starting to see the change in myself and my family that I was longing to see where people in need stay on our minds until we take action. (I want this change bad enough I’m blogging about it to hold myself accountable.)
As I flipped through the World Vision Catalog, I kept turning back to the section talking about giving loans for women to start small businesses. It spoke to my heart. It reminded me of the wish list of the families in need. The mom’s always asked for food. Feeding our family is a desire inherently in all of us as parents. Even after I put the magazine away, I couldn’t stop thinking about how money for a loan to start a small business for a woman would feed a family.
So, we gave extra. We gave water and a small loan to a family. After we processed our giving on the computer, I turned to my husband and said, “that felt so good.” Because it did. It was an awesome feeling. It’s what the giving of Christmas is supposed to be all about, sharing the joy of Jesus’ birth through meeting needs and giving gifts.
(If you missed the start of our family journey of giving and serving and why we are even doing this, read here.)
|Our family’s Once-a-Month Giving/Service Projects was featured on parenting.com. (This blog’s original name was Since I Became a Mom before it became Empowered Moms and Kids.)|
If you decide to take use this giving strategy, remember this is YOUR THING. Do what God places on YOUR HEART. Whatever works, big or little. Your family will be moved by however you decide to extend your hand. And hopefully, so will the people you give to.
Read what parenting.com says about the benefits of teaching kids to give:
“The benefits of actively fostering children’s charitable impulses are enormous. Besides helping counter the overdeveloped ‘gimme’ impulse, it gives kids a powerful boost in self-esteem to realize they can make a difference in someone’s life. ‘And as corny as it sounds,’ says Patricia Schiff Estess, a New York City writer and the author of Kids, Money & Values, ‘when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world.'”
Favorite eye-opening books that nudged me to see the amazing part of God’s work that we can do daily. Exciting stuff we get to be a part of.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, educator, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration in parenting, family connection ideas, encouragement for moms, and more empowering content. Read more in the “about” section of this page.