Well, Thanksgiving is over now. All the turkey has been eaten and packed away for leftovers. It is now officially the Christmas shopping/decorating/celebrating season. This year in our house, we were inspired to start a new tradition. Last Wednesday I started seeing tweets (Twitter posts) about Tweetsgiving. I looked into it and was instantly intrigued. The idea was to raise $10,000 in 48 hours to add a classroom on to a school in Tanzania. Ten dollars bought one brick: 1000 bricks=new classroom. The money was raised before noon on Thursday and all the additional donations were allocated to the new library that is also needed at the school.  I immediately sold the kids on the idea that for only $30 ($10 for each of us) we would be donating some*thing*, literally, a concrete thing. It was easy for them to see how their dollars could help someone else, even all the way around the world.  We were especially touched by Glory’s story. Realizing how one shoe could keep a child from going to school really hit home with my daughter. We often have ‘discussions’ in the mornings about which shoes to wear, which ones feel funny, is it a P.E. day, do I have to wear tennis shoes or can I wear my Crocs, ad nauseaum or ad put-some-shoes-on-or-you’ll-be-sorry-ium. Lots of words about shoes, yet we then pile into the car and she is chauffeured to school, walked in by her mother to start her school day. Carol Anne could really start to see her privilege. I felt it was a good way for them to see that charitable donations have a destination. So anyways, a new tradition was born.

We have decided that each month we will donate our small amount to a cause. It will be a cause/organization that the kids can grasp the concept and *see* where their money goes. I’m planning for us to keep a journal of each donation & maybe have the kids draw a picture or something about the donation or where it’s going or who they think it will be helping. December is clearly an easy time to get this going. We have a short list of charities to investigate. Ideally, I would prefer that we deal with smaller, more grassroots-type organizations. Though regardless of the size of the organization, I want the donation to have a tangible purpose, i.e. the bricks, a group of chicks, to a fund to teach something. I’d prefer the donations not just go into some sort of amorphous general fund. In the coming months we’re going to consider: The Kokua Hawaii Foundation, The Pangea Network, & Microplace. Of course, Epic Change will probably be a default if we can’t decide on something new. Carol Anne would really like to send a copy of The Princess & The Pea to Mama Lucy’s school…

So this is going to be our small foray into the world of charitable giving. The amount is small but manageable. If we want to increase it one month it’ll will be a treat, but otherwise it’s a number we can live with month after month.  It is my hope that the kids will grow to be more appreciative of the bounty that they already have and enjoy finding ways to share.  I don’t want to make predictions or layer this adventure with expectation about where this may lead, but rather start the journey with our $30 challenge and see where it takes us.

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