TEXT Mommy's Home: Charity starts at home

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Charity starts at home

I have always tried to teach the kids to share. It is so hard sometimes because they are at the age where all I hear is MINE MINE MINE.

Some of the things I get them to share are food, a room and toys. The latter is always the hardest because at any given moment they both need to play with the same toy. 

One of things that I am trying to show them about sharing, is that it  comes from an attitude of giving. It is so easy to keep everything you've worked hard for and forget those who are struggling. I came from a family of one income and we lived frugally. I can remember getting new clothes, books, shoes that were hand-me-downs. As a kid, I didn't care because they were new to me. 

When my mom cooked, anyone that stopped by had a meal before they left. My parents have always set an example of giving. When we didn't have money, they gave their time, their knowledge to help anyone who asked. Up to this day, if someone stops by, my mom will pick fruits from her garden or a bunch of flowers to give. If you asked her to cook something that you haven't eaten in awhile, and she has the ingredients, she will start to make it right away. I had a great childhood because we didn't have much. We learned to use what we had and be generous to the less fortunate than us. 

I know what it is like to struggle in this economy. I went to University and worked menial jobs on campus so I could pay for health care, a bus pass, textbooks, rent and food. I remember going to bed hungry because food seemed less of a priority. It didn't stop me from volunteering at various festivals and donating Blood. 

Over the past years, I decided to say something nice to random strangers. You never know whose day you are going to brighten with a few kind words. I have complimented people on a hairstyle, clothes, kids, a nice smile and so on. 

It is not often that I can give a monetary donation, but I help out my neighbours, give to the food bank and volunteer. Recently, a friend of mine, Jen, reminded those on a global scale, that they can give. She started the project Make Jen's Day. It is a reminder that giving is better than receiving. You can follow on twitter with the hashtag #MakeJensDay or on Facebook

My kids can't give much but I teach them how to be kind and generous. Although working out the sharing of the toys is still a daily battle, they will hug and kiss people that have come to our home to show them that they are welcome. It is not much, but it is a surprise to those who haven't been at our house before.

Teach your kids by leading an example. Teach them to smile and say hello, offer kind words, and give. 

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