When the kids have Payday, they each have three envelopes where they divide their money. They have a Give, Save, and Spend envelope.
First of all, I love this. Giving is invaluable. And although on paper, it may not make sense to give money away every time you get money; it makes perfect sense to a soul. It is good for people to help other people, or animals, or whatever. It is good to help others. People find purpose when they help others. And this is something that just is a truth of life. If you don't believe me, then I don't think you've ever really given of yourself to help someone in need. Because once you've done that, you can't deny that it is good.
Ok, so kids put money in to the Give envelop first. Then they decide how much goes in to their Save envelope. And lastly, the rest of the money goes in to the Spend envelope. Now, our recently remodeled Chore Charts are set up to keep the kids on track. Each week, when we write down what chores are to be done, there is also a spot to write what they are saving for, how much the Save goal costs, and how much money they have saved so far. There is also a spot for them to write down where they want their Give money to go. This has been great! There is more purpose in to these things when they are thought about, written down, and worked towards.
A few weeks ago we sent out the Give monies. The kids paid for several nights at the Homeless Angel's hotel, and they donated to the ASPCA. One child wanted her Give money to go to the Animal Shelter and she wanted to hand deliver it. Ok. Well, we decided today was the day.
She found a free sample of cat treats in our cat food bag here at home and brought that along too.
So here's the thing. I have now taken two children in to the animal shelter when they had collections at their birthday parties in lieu of presents. And that has been great! Today was different. Today was my daughter taking in her hard earned money. This is my shy-er daughter who doesn't always speak up.
The woman asked if she could help us. I pushed my daughter up towards the lady. And she said as clearly as she could that she wanted to give her treats and envelope to the animal shelter. The woman asked a question about it and my daughter told her that it was her own money that she wanted to donate. While I was signing us in so we could go visit the animals, an elderly woman sitting in the waiting booth dabbed at her eyes watching my daughter :)
While we were back playing with the kitties, the woman who worked at the shelter came and found me. I thought my daughter was just going to hand over the cash, but she had given the whole envelope to the woman. I didn't think too much of it. We have more envelopes at home. Well the woman looked at the back of the envelope and had seen where we had crossed off the money total and date every week when we updated what she had in the envelope. The woman wanted to know if she could have our address so they could send a thank you.
Here's the thing. All the giving that my children have done has been selfless. For the Homeless Angels and the ASPCA, we donated online. And I think Mom has seen that maybe it may have more of an impact on the kids to do some of this in person. If not for the kids, it at least makes more of an impact on those being blessed from the giving. I get a little persuaded to go the easier route sometimes and click a few buttons. But today was definitely a day that left a mark on a few lives.
Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to teach the children to give - and to see that all parties benefit when you give from your heart. And if anyone is interested . . . we did find out that you have to be 16 to volunteer at the Animal Shelter. But if you a child and want to volunteer, you need to have a parent come along. Guess what my kids have planned for me now? ;) Besides their money, they want to give of their time now . . . and how can I not say yes to that?