Our family recently decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International. While my husband was at a concert, he picked up a packet for a little 4 year-old boy from Bolivia named Christhian. Isn’t he adorable?
The next day I showed our oldest daughter, who is also 4, the picture of the little boy and explained to her where he lives and that his family doesn’t have much money. I explained to her that we are sending some money to help him be able to go to school, do art activities, go on field trips, and have a better life. She thought that was a great idea and decided to make a picture for Christhian. She colored the picture, cut it out, folded it up, and put it in the envelope with the other things we were going to send him. Then we both went about doing other things. A couple hours later she came up to me and asked me for an envelope. I asked her what she needed it for and she held out her hands. Both of her hands were full of coins. She told me she had gone up to her piggy bank and taken out money to send to Christhian so that he can go to pre-school like she does. All on her own. My heart melted. We found a special jar to keep her coins in for Christhian, and every day she has been adding more, her eyes full of excitement to be able to help a little boy that she has never met have a better life.
Seeing her do this really got me thinking. We often hear about the importance of teaching our children about money and how to handle it responsibly. Of course we should teach our children the value of savings, and how to spend responsibly. And it is important that they learn the value of a dollar. But what about the value of giving it away to others who are in need? More importantly, what can our children teach US about having a generous heart? My daughter has been saving her money for a long time, anticipating being able to buy something great at Target. But she didn’t give a second thought to putting a majority of what she had worked so hard to save in that jar so that another child could have a chance to have a better life. Even more, she did it JOYFULLY!! What started out as me intending to teach my daughter generosity ended up with her teaching me so much more. Oh, how I aspire to have a generous heart like my sweet daughter’s, and I hope to foster and encourage that in her as she grows up.
How do you and your family encourage one another to give generously to others? It could be giving your money, your time, or your talents. Maybe it’s in your neighborhood, somewhere in our local community, or across the world. We’d love to hear your ideas…please share!