Buy this! Get that! You need this shiny new thing!
Oh my heavens, we are surrounded by so many messages of selfishness this time of the year! It’s EVERYWHERE! Our kids are bombarded by toys and ads on every corner, and as parents we are left with trying to sort out the noise for our kids and then teach them how to be generous.
Whew! Is anyone else exhausted yet? I know I am!
I know my kids need something tangible to help them process a concept and “make it stick.” We do coat drives and making cards for the nursing home and other service projects, but there’s a disconnect for my kids. Those are nice things to do, but they don’t see the faces of the people being helped. “Giving Back” is still a nebulous concept for them.
We’ve found a solution, though.
We set aside some of our Christmas budget every year and as a family select gifts from a charity’s catalog to help out around the world. The biggest benefit of doing this is that many times, the catalog has photos of the families that are helped through the donations.
This year, CARE.org is going a step further. They have a team on the ground in Malawi introducing us to children that are currently being helped through the gifts the charity has available for purchase. We are taking the time each day to visit their Facebook page and meet the girls that are being given a hand up through the #DreamWithHer campaign.
We’ve met Maliyana, who just like my son, dreams of becoming a doctor. Her mom, Magret, is a widow and raising goats donated by CARE.org has helped her send Maliyana to school. At the beginning of the year, the family was struggling to simply eat every day. The support of CARE.org has enabled the family to have food and for Maliyana to continue planning her future.
The team will be in Evelesi‘s village this week, discussing her life and dreams of becoming a nurse.
In a world where we often take the clean water in our sinks for granted, learning about the lives of these young ladies is helping the kiddos in my home see the bigger picture of the world we live in. Now that we’ve learned about them, we will sit down with the catalog on Christmas Eve. When the kids are looking at which item to gift, they will have a better connection to the people they will be helping. (We will probably choose a piglet. After meeting Clover the Pig this summer, my oldest thinks everyone needs a piglet!) Making that connection helps remove the mystery of giving, and solidifies the idea for them, which can only lead to a more generous heart as they grow.
More about #DreamWithHer:
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