This past Thanksgiving at the Casa de Blog, the Bossy extended family thought they’d try something different. Weeks beforehand, they had secured a catalogue from World Vision, which, among other ways to donate, allows you to purchase useful things such as goats and wells for families living in impoverished places like Haiti.
The cousins got excited looking at these possibilities, and so they committed to doing more chores around the house, and they vowed to save their allowance and chore money so they could combine it into a big pile to purchase something from the catalogue’s pages.
This wasn’t a project for the adults, so they were only allowed to contribute small amounts, like saved change. It was about showing kids that even coins, when pooled, could make a difference.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day, when all the money stored in an assortment of vessels was dumped on the coffee table and sorted and counted. The total amount raised was $68.23!
Next they poured over the catalogue to determine how to spend their loot:
In the end, they purchased chickens and mosquito netting, and as they looked on, the check was signed and sealed in an envelope. It was a great thing, and maybe a good idea to incorporate into your Christmas and Hanukkah gift exchange?
jan8mr.lootiato saysDecember 16, 2008 at 10:12 am
this was such a fun endeavor…
the check was put in the mailbox Thanksgiving evening by the girls.
The followup by world vision was equally impressive…A beautiful thankyou card with a picture of what was donated came in a lovely transparent envelope.
Icing on the gift giving cake….
Emily saysDecember 16, 2008 at 10:39 am
That is definately the way to teach giving, that is requires self-sacrifice. What good is it to teach a kid how to give if you are handing the money to them?
MariaV saysDecember 16, 2008 at 10:39 am
They humble me.
Nancy saysDecember 16, 2008 at 10:55 am
Best.Idea.Ever. for young kids.
I’m sharing this on my blog and passing on to a couple of my friends that are elementary teachers. Good class project, yes?
Debby saysDecember 16, 2008 at 11:04 am
We took our munchkins to the local SPCA Open House and they turned over their hard earned allowance ($1 each week goes to charity) and got their own “tax” receipt. We then took a tour and returned home to our 3 (formerly residents of said SPCA) cats without a new friend.
Mission accomplished on all fronts – kids chose charity, saw they were helping somewhere and I didn’t adopt anything new!
The Domestic Goddess saysDecember 16, 2008 at 11:46 am
We did this one year with our family. Donated it instead. I’m thinking of doing it with the boy. I’m trying to teach him to save 1/3, donate 1/3 and spend 1/3 (cautiously). So far he is great at saving and spending. And donated items. But donating money? Still tough for him. We’re working on it.
That’s a great charity, btw. We gave cows and wells one year.
MemeGRL saysDecember 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm
Fabulous idea. The best “thanks for coaching” gift my husband ever got was a donation of five soccer balls in his name by World Vision or an organization like it.
Another good one is DonorsChoose.org. They have classroom projects all around the country and you can donate the whole cost or just what you have. Some of the ideas are really innovative and interesting.
Kris saysDecember 16, 2008 at 1:08 pm
The power of children! What an awesome thing to do!
Naomi saysDecember 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm
This is awesome! My kids (and us) through our church and the kids school help out an orphanage in Haiti. The kids love knowing they helped to by a cow, or seeds for planting or even saving their out grown clothes which are taken to the church each summer and shipped to Haiti.
Way to go Girls 🙂
janny226 saysDecember 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm
What a great idea. Every year in my son’s Advent house, in addition to the trinkets and candy, he “gets” a few donations that have been made in his name, one of which goes to Heifer.org, a similar group.
Last year he had a flock of ducks donated, since he IS “DuckyBoy,” and this year I — I mean, the Christmas Elf (I’ll have to post the long story about THAT idea someday…) — chose rabbits.
I wasn’t sure how I’d pay for it this year since I try to do it all online but am trying to do all-cash this year. I ended up making 3 donations via credit card and immediately paying the full amount from my checking account to the cc company.
Teri saysDecember 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm
They inspire me!
I also went and asked for one of these books. What a great idea and I had no idea you could do this.
derfina saysDecember 16, 2008 at 1:52 pm
Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing.
the cheap chick saysDecember 16, 2008 at 3:07 pm
God Bless the Bossys! And I am soooooo using this idea for my next Fox segment. Thank you so much for the inspiring tip!
Liz saysDecember 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm
Everyone on my list is getting something from Heifer International. I may be poor but at least I have food on my table.
Way to go, cousins.
Kristine saysDecember 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm
That’s an awesome idea. Something I’ll bring up to my family for next year.
Caroline Wright saysDecember 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm
This made me cry. “Two chickens for a woman.” Astonishing, isn’t it, that something so simple could make such a tremendous difference in someone’s life?
Liz in Virginia saysDecember 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm
We did a similar thing a couple of years ago. Instead of purchasing gifts, we gave only handmade items, with a price limit for supplies that was pretty low. We all pledged to give the difference (money we had set aside for Christmas) to Habitat for Humanity.
That was a good Christmas.
pamela from the dayton time saysDecember 16, 2008 at 4:09 pm
We do this sort of thing at Christmas every year. My SIL loves honey, so we usually donate a beehive in her honour. After my youngest child was born, we made a donation in honour of our family doctor and her staff (they provided my prenatal care) to a non-profit that taught a large number of women in third world countries to be midwives, and how to provide prenatal care to their neighbors. Our doc told us it was one of the nicest gifts she’d ever received.
Manic Mommy saysDecember 16, 2008 at 4:43 pm
Bossy, that is fantastic! I linked over and can’t get enough of the site.
Helena saysDecember 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm
It’s such a brilliant idea! I did the same last Christmas instead of sending Christmas cards. I think I chose safe water for 25 people.
karen saysDecember 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm
I love this project!
This year all extended family and my girls’ teachers are having donations made in their honor at Heifer Int’l. The classrooms also get a children’s book from Heifer that tells the story of a young girl whose life was changed by the program – “Beatrice’s Goat.” I hope someday my girls are as excited as yours to be helping someone in need.
Eloise saysDecember 16, 2008 at 5:44 pm
Bravo, Bossy! What a wonderful lesson for those children. Just when I think Bossy’s Daughter has already cornered the market on coolest kid ever status, she raises the bar even higher.
By the way, I watched The House without a Christmas Tree, an old made-for-TV movie from the 70’s, this week, and the girl who has the lead, reminded me a lot of Bossy’s Daughter.
Andrea's Sweet Life saysDecember 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm
My husband and I just started a charity that goes along these lines – basically, that if you give away just a portion of what you have, it is worth so much more. And if you pool those resources with OTHER people, it can do things you never dreamed of.
For us, as ranchers, it’s a portion of our meat that we’re giving – we’re supposed to make our first drop tomorrow, of 150 lbs of ground beef! I’m so excited, I can’t even stand it. Check it out, if you’re interested, at http://meatfordinner.wordpress.com.
krg saysDecember 16, 2008 at 5:47 pm
Helen+ilana+Hi saysDecember 16, 2008 at 7:10 pm
Oh I get this! It’s my sister’s 60th b’day today. I sent her a World Vision Outhouse! ‘Cause I figured turning 60 might be feeling kinda
shittynot so good
Lee the MWOB Queen saysDecember 17, 2008 at 4:23 am
Oh Bossy what a warm and fuzzy post. I love this charitable stuff ESPECIALLY when kids are in control…beautiful. And oh, so the season.
operagal saysDecember 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm
I agree with all the posters above, but would be cautious about DonorsChoose.org
last year another blogger was touting it, so I went there to look through the Chicago neighborhoods, since i used to live there and saw that a school in Evanston, IL (an EXTREMELY RICH city and home to Northwestern university) was asking for and getting a LOT of money donated.
A friend visited the school and found it to be top-notch, and not at all in need of the money they wanted to pay for a field trip.
It really soured me on these types of organizations, so I do things close to home so that I know I really am helping someone.
Don’t mean to sound bitter, just cautious.
Bossy's Daughter saysDecember 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm
If anyone wants to make a difference, got to
you answer some easy questions and for each question you get correct, you donate 20 grains of rice to the hungry!