I've always wanted my girls to want to give. They are very fortunate to be growing up in a world where they do not want for anything. They're well taken care of, sleep in cozy beds, always have food on the table, and have more toys than they know what to do with. They (and we) are very fortunate.
As someone who has always found different ways to volunteer, and then spent the first 10 years of my career working in fundraising, I place an emphasis on giving back wherever possible. Volunteering time, donating money, or putting together Christmas presents for families who need them. We find ways to give, and I like to think we're still instilling this sort of philanthropic thinking into our kids.
So last week when Lady M came home telling us about a family they're supporting at school, I was thrilled. The holidays are certainly a time when there are many kids in need, and who would likely think that my house was a toy store, it's nice to find ways to help them to have a Merry Christmas as well.
Each of the children in Lady M's class were asked to bring in a loonie to support the family, but my little girl had something bigger in mind. "Mum, I'd like to count the money in my flower bank and give it to the family...well, maybe half of it". My heart swelled with pride - my little girl, without prompting, would like to share the money she has collected in the last couple of years with someone who needs it much more than her. Loonies from my mum and dad, pocket change from Cal and I, and whatever coins she wrangled up from the couch and the car. She's carefully nestled it all away in her flower bank (given to her by Auntie Ainslie when she was her flower girl in 2011) just waiting for the right moment to spend it.
For a while this year she kept telling me that she wanted to buy herself a pandora charm bracelet - a bit of a hefty purchase for a girl of her age, but I figured it's her money, she can do with it what she pleases. However, I'm glad to see that her kind little heart would rather spend it this way, sharing it with someone in need.
So the other night we all gathered at the kitchen table to sort the coins. Bowls for each different coin, Lady A digging out the copper-coloured pennies, Cal, Lady M and I sorting the silver goods. With a little bit of work and some lovely Dollarama coin wrappers, suddenly my little girl had wrapped a good chunk of money, and still has more to go.
The next morning she was quite eager to take her donation into school, and proudly tucked 5 rolls of nickels into her backpack for a total donation of $25. Her teacher apparently commented that she didn't need to give that much, but for Lady M it wasn't about needing to; it was about wanting to. She proudly handed her lovingly wrapped coin rolls over.
That night she came home and let us know that the school will be selling tattoos for $1 each to raise money for the families they're supporting. Lady M told me that she really wanted to get a tattoo, but qualified it further by saying "I don't want to get a tattoo because I can; I want to get a tattoo because the money I give goes to the family".
$25 is not a huge sum of money in fundraising terms, but coming from the piggy bank of a 6-year old girl, it means the world. Knowing that my daughter decided to do this all on her own makes me so proud. What an awesome kid I have.
Advil. Advil. Advil. Lysol.
5 days ago