How old were you when you started to learn about helping people in need and giving back to the community?
I remember a conversation I had with a woman many years ago about giving back. She was teaching her daughter how to be generous by “making” her give 10% of her birthday money to their church. What? That sounded a bit over the top. She was less than 10 years old. Surely she wouldn’t understand why she was having to give a portion of her birthday money away?
Fast forward to present day and I’ve been a mother of twins for eight years. My children are fortunate, but not spoiled. Their father and I have worked hard to show them that we need to give during food drives, help those in need through Girl Scouts, and donate when we can.
I thought we’d done a good job when I overheard one of my daughters tell the other, “Oh well, that toy is broken. Let’s just put it in the donation pile and buy a new one.” #FAIL
So I explained again that we don’t give broken toys, but those that are gently used.
A Recent Learning Opportunity
July is their birthday month and the girls wanted to have a swimming party. This is awesome for me because they can invite a lot of friends, and the mess isn’t at my house. It’s a lot easier to clean up after a pool party. #WINNING
We decided to throw the girls a curve ball. We wanted them to think of a charity to support. And we would ask their friends to bring presents to give to the charity instead of presents for the girls. Their initial reaction was a bit frowny faced.
Picking a Charity
We asked the girls to think of an organization that had touched their lives. An organization that meant something to them. And with a little help from us, the girls decided to support the Circle of Hope NICU Foundation at Overland Park Regional.
The girls were Preemies (premature). They’ve heard the story numerous times of their mother spending more than ten weeks in the hospital before they were born. The girls were born at 34 weeks and spent 13 days in the NICU. We were very blessed to receive support from this wonderful organization, the staff of the hospital and NICU nurses.
The girls were excited about supporting Circle of Hope. They ended up raising $250 in cash and gas cards for families of the NICU. They also donated yarn for those cute little bonnets we received when the girls were born.
The girls were so excited to give their donation to the Board of the Foundation. It was a wonderful experience to see the smiles on their faces as they told their story about their time at the NICU. About how thankful they were for the help they received. And that they wanted their birthday presents to support what Circle of Hope is doing. #PROUDMOM
The lesson for me is that kids are never too young to start learning about the joy of giving back.