Giving. It can be one of the most heart warming things we can do as humans. It shows love. It shows selflessness. It shows a genuine heart. A giving heart is hard to come-by in this generation. We are all about getting….This is mine…. I want it now.
I want my kids to go against this generation. To fight for a giving heart instead of a selfish one. It’s one of the many characteristics I want to teach my kids.
Of course it starts with us. My kids must see my husband and I giving in order to inherit the characteristic. Seeing our hearts fill with joy when giving will open their hearts to wanting the same.
Give to the needy
Bystander: I remember the first time I gave to the needy and felt a glimpse of regret. I went on a trip to New Orleans with some friends. We were walking down Bourbon when a woman approached me (she had no shoes, barely wearing clothes, and I could literally see the sadness through her cold, blue eyes). Of course she asked the classic line, “Do you have a few dollars to help me get some food.” Um heck yea I do…. I honestly couldn’t get in my wallet fast enough to help her. I handed her a Lincoln and told her God bless.
As we continued to walk, I noticed she ran as quick as she could to the liquor store (seriously she was the roadrunner…never seen someone go that fast), and my heart sank in my stomach. Did I just help her spiral further down?
It dawned on me….. despite her actions or what she did with the money… I did the right thing as a christian woman. We are called to give and that is what I did. I want to teach that to my kids. Not to worry about what someone is doing with it or how they take what we give… but just to give. To do what is right. Not to give for praise, a pat on the back, or gifts in return…. but to give with a loving heart. To give with the left hand and not letting the right hand know.
Matthew 6:3- But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Whenever my kids and I see someone in need or even with a sign asking for money, we try to give. I want to teach them that giving to someone is the joy we will never feel when we give to ourselves. Granted, I want to give in a way that is safe. Will I get out of the car to give to the needy on the side of the road with my kids in the car? No ma’am. But as long as it is safe, and I have a few bucks on hand…we will continue to give in hopes my kids will too.
Local Kitchen or Shelter: There are TONS of shelters full of people who need help. Shelters provide warmth, food, and advice for those in need. This gives us the opportunity to give where it is fully embraced. When my kids get a little older, I want them to help me cook meals and put toiletry bags together to take to our shelter. I want to teach them it all starts with one person loving another. If we have the ability to give, I hope I have the heart to make it happen.
Drive-Thru: The day I heard people giving at the drive-thru, my heart exploded. Paying for the meal the car behind me ordered is a simple act of kindness. I love giving without knowing the person or getting a thank you. We never know what kind of day the person behind us in line could be having. Whether they just got fired from a job or hanging on by one thread in life. The times I have paid (which honestly isn’t a lot due to funds)… I truly felt God placed it on my heart. I have even quickly wrote down a bible verse that comes to mind for the cashier to give the driver when I leave.
Heart Felt Moments: Listen to people. Talk to people. Find out their struggles in life. There is nothing more than helping someone you randomly talked to. Recently, my son and I went on a date to a resturant we love. One of the men who works there (not the waiter) was so kind to my son (truly anyone who meets him is drawn to him), and he kept finding his way back to our table just to give him a high five. We ended up having a conversation about his family, and how he takes care of his nieces because of their hard home life. He further discussed how he works two jobs just to keep above water. He said all this with a smile as he repeatedly said how blessed he was. His words touched my heart in a way I knew I had to do something to make his day. To let him know that he also made mine and my sons. I quickly jotted down a small message to him (also letting my son scribble in his two cents) and left some money.
When we got in the car, I explained to my son why we did what we did (not quite sure if he even understood since he is two, but hey you never know). After that day, I craved more of those moments. More of those moments to help others and to show my son how giving and helping will change your heart from the inside out. Kids will notice the love you have for others and will follow in our footsteps.
Giving to Other Kids
Christmas Operation Box: I LOVE Christmas. I still ponder how the Grinch felt the way he felt. Christmas is the holiday to love one another and the biggest giving day of the year. My kids get so much we could probably open our own toy store. Watching them open their gifts with excitement and anticipation is what it’s all about. Yet I don’t want it to stop there. I want them to not only receive with thankful hearts but give with thankful hearts as well. The operation Christmas tree box is PERFECT for my kids to feel the joy of giving to another child. (https://www.thesamaritanspurse.org)
Donate to Salvation Army: Every year my kids and I will load up boxes of toys and clothes to give to those in need. I want my kids to help me in the process. To understand it is all just “stuff” and replaceable. That giving the toy they haven’t touched in a few months is a great act of selflessness. I want them to know that it is okay to live without something. Life moves on without having all the “stuff” they want.
Giving a Percentage
Pick an organization and donate: There are millions of organizations that need help to change the lives of others. I would love nothing more than for my kids to pick their own organization to donate to. Whether it be a child we write letters to and donate monthly, or an organization that hits home.
Here is a list of organizations that are perfect for kids:
Tithe to the Church: I believe that practice and habits create lifestyle. Giving to the church is one of the things I can confidently say my money was well spent. I will never forget the month I didn’t tithe in the fear we wouldn’t make it to the next month (fear is nothing but saying we don’t trust Him). My wallet vanished without a trace. Debit cards, drivers license, checkbook…. all of it. Gone. No trace of anyone ever using it. Just disappeared. I still believe today it was because I didn’t give.
I want my kids to give 10% of their earned money as well. Even if it is .05 from their $5 allowance. Giving to the church at a younger age, will benefit them when they are older.
Giving By Creativity
Creative Gifts Organization : There are so many organizations out there for our kids to give by creativity. One organization I love is Little Loving Hands. This is a great way for kids to learn about giving through their creative side. Kids receive a box each month that not only describes the charity but has the materials for them to create a loving craft for another in need. Little Loving Hands – Kids Crafts for a Cause.
Deuteronomy 16:17- Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
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