We are, apparently, at a whole new level of charity now. The boys came home from school last week all excited because they were going to be "jumping rope for heart". The American Heart Association has teamed with their school to raise money. The boys have no concept of what the AHA is or why they need money. All they know is that if they want to win a prize. Jack has his heart set on *winning* a jumprope and Drew wants to *win* a t-shirt. I'm really having a hard time explaining this whole concept to them.
First of all, I have always hated soliciting things. I was a girl scout for a REALLY long time and absolutely despised selling cookies...my sister actually used to sell most of my cookies for me. I just have never felt very comfortable asking people to give me money. So, needless to say, I have problems sending my small army of kindergarteners out to ask for money from their unsuspecting family and friends.
I guess that I might feel more comfortable with the whole idea of them raising money for a charity if the boys understood what they were doing. I just cannot get their understanding of this whole project past the 'if I ask people for money, and they give it to me, then I jump rope and then I get a prize'. It sure seems like a win-win-win for the boys! I've been trying to figure out how to make this all work for us. It just seems to me that the boys should be feeling some of the pain of this work of charity.
As if the Jump Rope for the Heart is not enough for us to figure out, with the start of Lent, the boys each received a box from church to save money for the poor. My kids each have a piggy bank with about $30 that they have saved, from gifts. The boys don't get an allowance, Christmas is done and their birthday is not until May. They are so proud of the money that they have in there and are very careful about spending ANY of it. Am I supposed to make them take some of THEIR little-bit of money out of their piggy banks for the poor people? That doesn't seem fair since they don't really have any means to build it back up and that money is from gifts to them. On the other hand, am I supposed to just throw some of MY money in their boxes? That doesn't seem real productive in teaching them to be charitable and not to mention, not fair to me. ;)
How are other families handling these things...am I just spending too much time thinking about it?
What I ended up doing for the jump rope thing was telling the boys that I would give them each a small donation. I complicated it, for them, by telling them that I would match $ for $ any donation that they made from their own money. I am just against BUYING them a prize. For the poor boxes, I told them that I would give them each 10 cents for a good deed or extra job that they did, up to 3/day. So, they are sorta working so the poor people can have more food to eat. They were all excited about it today and I had some extra helpers. I just hope it lasts the whole 40 days of Lent!!
What do YOU think? Any comments or ideas???