Saturday, December 4, 2010
Oh Ye Fabulous Blogosphere
Ya know how I grumble about stuff... sometimes very specifically, sometimes more vaguely... I need to make a right here and throw out a really huge THANK YOU, but I need to keep it vague. One of you contacted me this week offering help for something I've grumbled about. It crashed into me like a huge warm vat of chocolate. I was overwhelmed, delighted and grateful to be part of a network where people don't just cheer, but actually tangibly help each other.
I think Talli Roland is feeling some of this this week, too. Did you hear her book ON ITS FIRST DAY hit #24 of the Amazon.UK list? We did that. As a group—I mean sure, she organized and asked, but after full participation and being part of this great community.
So I suggest a big group CYBERHUG because the BLOGOSPHERE ROCKS! [note: Lemurs really do this with some regularity. I love lemurs]
And in Keeping with the Spirit
Kids and Charity
My boss every year has a talk with us... about how there are people in the world, in the country, even in the city, a lot more needy than we are. She encourages us to spend any money we'd spend on gifts in the work place on charity instead. We normally exchange cards and maybe cookies or candies and any other money goes to some organization that meets needs. Her own choice is typically a safe house, where she also volunteers time as a physician to help people who've gone there. I've discovered various local soup kitchens or family aid organizations, and it is definitely a time to help people, because people are definitely needy.
We aren't in a financial position to help this year, but we will still try to find a way to give some time, but in light of that, I thought maybe I'd share a couple that are international, and have the BONUS of being something kids can really learn from.
My friend Natasha (who you know as Rayna) administers this charity. The reason I think it is so ideal for kids is that donors can actually choose who they donate to and then they get feedback about how their gift made a difference—it is reinforcing that the charitable money donated has made a real difference in someones life. It is also nice for the adults because the donation sizes can vary so much—there are huge needs and small (as little as $10 to contribute to a safe water system to larger gifts like $85 to buy somebody a wheelchair). See Your Impact is changing lives one at a time, and I think as a lesson in giving, that is the best way for children to really understand.
Another charity kids can really get behind is Heifer International. The organization buys animals for villages or families (depending on the size of donation). Some of them are small animals, raised and then used for meat (which my kids didn't like) but MANY are animals raised because they are food-producing (chickens, cows, goats) or wool producing (llamas, sheep) so they can either feed people or offer a livelihood. My kids LOVED this, and they offer options of... half a sheep, or a third of a goat if you can't afford a whole animal, and it looks like since we've been involved, they have also added seeds and training to their list of what they donate.
They have a ton of pics, but are rights protected, so if you want to go see some of the stuff, click here http://www.flickr.com/photos/heifer_media/sets/
So if you can... there are people who are needy out there. I may grumble about a low gift Christmas or juggling bills, but the truth is, we own a home and have never gone without food or heat. There are people out there with real needs. I think these charities offer a way to really show kids that giving can feel good and make a difference.