It is a giving time of year…or, more specifically, when all the non-profits make last-minute appeals for donations before the tax year ends.
Each year my organization, www.jicny.com, joins the fray begging for our share of dollars. It always gives me the opportunity to reflect. Each time we ask for money the same people respond. Now I know that not everyone has the same wealth and not everyone supports my organization equally and many givers try and give to many organizations. But I also know there are many people who do not give. It’s not that they don’t give to JICNY; I simply believe they don’t give to any cause. I recently had a conversation with someone who was simply incredulous that I allocate 10 percent of my income each month for charity. I tried to explain how this money is simply not mine but he could not “get” the idea.
I challenged him to consider a world where everyone gave 10 percent to less fortunate individuals or other causes. Even the beggar. Imagine that world – less poor, less disadvantaged people, more love.
As moms we know the power of giving and that giving is gratifying.
We have been trying to instill giving to our kids:
• They need to give some of their Chanukah money or birthday money to the beggar
• When they get birthday presents, they chose the 10 they want to keep and we wrap up the rest as pretty as possible and deliver to poor people.
• When Meron was four, he told me he has so many toys that he did not want birthday presents. So now, each year we request donations for Meir Panim in Israel instead.
• We, as a family, volunteer at soup kitchens in New York or Israel.
I know that my children enjoy giving. I hope that they grow up to assume that all they have in life is a gift and they too give 10 percent to tzedakah.
Metroimmas, this is such a powerful lesson for our children. Please share your stories of teaching your children to give.
Originally published: December 29, 2010