Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Compassionate Child

My oldest daughter started Kindergarten this year and the texture of all our lives has definitely changed. One of the surprises for me has been how much my child is asked to participate in charitable and fund raising endeavors. In the past two months she has been asked to raise money or procure goods for seven separate projects.

First in School she has had a canned food drive, the obligatory shiny cataloge PTA thing(the only one we sat out) and a specific food item drive for the Salvation Army's Thanksgiving dinners.

Then at Church she has had a canned food drive, a booklet of quarters collected for orphans in other countries, a shoebox collection of gifts for underprivileged children around the world and a monthly piggy bank collection to purchase literature for missionaries.

This has all been in the past two months. We chose our church partially because it is very "outreach" oriented and we have always enjoyed being involved in the compassion ministries in the past. The school's community efforts I find pleasantly surprising. We live in a very working class/immigrant neighborhood and no one has resources to just throw away. All of this outward giving has made an impact on my five year old. She is routinely looking for quarters "for the orphans" and telling me why they need our money.

I'm pleased that she is learning to give outside of the home...but I have to say I'm just a little overwhelmed. It's an effort to find cash (who uses cash anymore?) and I have started adding food drive items to my regular grocery list because she needs more items than I have stuck in the back of the pantry. Perhaps that is the way it should be, every time we get something for ourselves we should get a little something for those less fortunate.

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