Friday, November 7, 2008
Here's a great story about teaching children, even from an early age, the benefits of charity and giving. During the election campaign season I saw a couple stories involving children raising money for one of the presidential candidates (prompted or not by the parents, who knows). The usual idea is a lemonade stand but I think I saw one of a little girl who sold cookies, too.
I don't remember how charitable my parents were when I was growing up. If they gave, it was to our church during the "offering" or the thousands of hours both my parents gave in service to the Boy Scouts for me and my brothers. As far as other philanthropy, I'm not sure.
Out of guilt or the unnerving ability to say "No" I have given to a few charities over the years, as well as a few presidential campaigns. My wife and I also support the arts by being members of an art gallery or two. Our names aren't on any buildings or walls, but it's nice to help these organizations get support to survive (and reap a benefit or two ourselves). But I have yet to figuratively "put my money where my mouth is" and give more of my time to causes I see as just. For instance, I find the injustice of poverty compelling and quickly joined John Edwards' Half in Ten campaign (pre-infidelity news, haha). http://halfinten.org/
Thing is, I've never been to a soup kitchen or any group that is helping stamp out poverty, or any cause, for that matter. I've never gone to talk to the elderly or volunteered at a food bank. So, while I feel for certain causes I have yet to really CONTRIBUTE to a worthy cause. Reading the kid's charity story got me thinking, however, that it is never too late to get into the game, as well as teaching our youth how important it is to realize there are people all over the country and the world who have it much harder than us. I hope to use the birth of our son to get involved together and help those in need and foster a culture of giving.
With this week's major event in our country (a new and progressive President), not to mention the conditions our faltering economy are creating, now is a great and much-needed time to give.