(Inside: How to teach your kids to give from the heart using the once-a-month strategy.)
We just finished month two of our family mission to do a better job of sharing God’s love to the world “out there” through giving. (If you missed our introduction to this family journey read here.)
Last month we prayed and gave financially to an organization that supports orphans. This month, I wanted to give more tangible items.
To kick off month two of giving we decided to participate in the food drive at our church. I fully planned on taking my kids’ grocery shopping but in a blink of an eye the day was here and we didn’t have our bags of food. (Ugh. Darn school, activities, work and all the other responsibilities.) I thought: I’m done. Giving tangible items is DEAD TO ME. (I can wrestle with the “give big or don’t give at all” mentality.)
But I promised myself I wasn’t going to stress about this. I want intentionally giving more to become naturally integrated into our lives so as we are shopping for ourselves, we’re intrinsically motivated to grab things for other. (And still, act even when we think we aren’t making any real difference.) Getting to that stage is a process. So, I shook off my feelings of failure so early in this journey and told the kids to look through the pantry for food.
It all went smoothly except for my kids trying to give already opened boxes and my youngest crying, screaming and chasing my middle son around the house demanding the chocolate chips to eat. My middle son sprinted from his brother, chocolate chips raised high above his head, shouting, “But…they are for the orphans!”
(Our church takes donations of kids items. Twice a year, our church opens our doors to the community to come shop for free gently, used kids clothes, toys, strollers…you name it. Then there’s also donations of diapers, formula…etc. The lines to get into this “kids store” always wrap around the church building. It’s like Black Friday.)
We gave each kid a bag and told them to fill it with toys. After some whining on their end and coaxing on ours, their bags became heavy. Then when my kids weren’t looking my husband and I filled up quite a few more bags and we dropped them off at church.
The ironic part is – we’re enjoying the gift of a de-cluttered home and fewer toys to pick up.
Next month is Christmas, the season of giving…that should be an easy month.
|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.