When my kids were smaller I was excited to teach them about giving. I soon found it to be a little bit of a frustrating experience. They couldn't part with even a single block for children without toys and when I wanted to shop for a needy child's Christmas I knew they couldn't come with me because it would become a shopping trip all about them. I clearly started these lessons when they were just to young to understand, but it was not a reason to stop giving. I now simply tailor giving to fit each boy's personality.
When Asher sees a homeless person on the street he wants to build them a house. He makes plans, tells me how he would use his hands to help make that persons troubles less, so we give to organizations that provide shelter. Holden doesn't seem to really notice.
When a group of orphaned African children came to sing at our church Holden could not take his eyes off them. He has talked about them for nearly a year. We decided to sponsor a little girl from Uganda and when she sends us correspondence it's Holden who sits to look at her picture and listen to her letter. Asher actually says he doesn't like her(???).
During the holiday season I always bring out a jar for spare change especially for charity. Both boys like to put pennies they find in it, no pressure- just on the counter as a reminder. Periodically we take it to the Salvation Army red kettle outside the grocery store and they think that is pretty fun. Obviously they cannot grasp what this money needs to do for people, but I hope to be forming some habits that will stick with them for life. I don't even understand the magnitude of world hunger, they cannot understand what happens when the unemployment rate is at 10.2%, but together we can make a difference with just our spare change and some compassion.