Top 10 Stories of 2012 Countdown - Story #9 - A Spontaneous Opportunity to Truly Teach My Children About Generosity
--by Earthymom33, posted Dec 23, 2012
My kids and I were heading into the superstore over the weekend. On the way, we spotted a man wrapped in a blanket and holding a sign that said, "Lost my job. Family to Feed".
At this store, a sight like this is not a normal occurrence. It was obvious the man was embarrassed, but desperate. My 10-year-old noticed him commented on how bad it must be to have to stand outside in the cold wind.
While we were in the store, I asked each of the kids (I have seven :) to pick something they thought our 'friend' outside would appreciate. They picked a couple apples, a package of shrimp cocktail, a sandwich, some cheese and a bottle of juice.
Then my 17-year-old asked, "Can we get him a gift card?"
I thought about it. We were low on cash ourselves, but... well, sometimes giving from our 'need' instead of our 'abundance' is just what we need to do!
We talked about the fact that we might have to do away with some of the things we were going to buy if we bought a gift card. All the kids piped in.
"I'll eat oatmeal all this week!"
And on-and-on, each child declaring something they could do away with for the week.
In their eagerness, they said, "Hurry mom! Let's get out there to give him his stuff before he gets too cold and leaves."
We quickly checked out, with the items he could eat at the moment, and a gift card for the store. At the suggestion of my 16-year-old, we also grabbed a hot cup of coffee, then drove to the end of the parking lot, where our 'friend' was holding his sign.
We handed him the coffee and the bag of food. He lit up and thanked us with watery eyes. When I handed him the gift card and said he could use it for whatever his family might need, he burst into tears, obviously overwhelmed and grateful.
Though I wished we could have done more, I can't help but think about how this experience has been such a wonderful opportunity for our family. The impact of how it feels to help someone has rippled through them all-- they cannot stop talking about it, and for four days now have been 'scouting' for others we can help!
Things would have have played out so differently if I had simply said, "No, we really don't have money to give more," or something to that effect. Stepping out definitely not only helped a brother in need, it also gave my kids the sweet taste of helping others.
Touching! Love it<3333333