I tried to explain: “There are lots of good causes and we can’t afford to give to all of them. I believe you should think about which ones you want to support, then donate to them.”
For a long time, I simply didn’t have the discretionary income to share with others. Now that I’m more comfortable, I still have a list of things for which I need to save money: my child’s college tuition, a house with a backyard and retirement. On the other hand, I want to teach my daughter to appreciate what we have and to care about those less fortunate. That’s why we donate outgrown clothes and toys to Goodwill. That’s why I slip some money into the Salvation Army’s bucket at Christmas time. That’s why we end each night by listing all of the things we’re thankful for which includes food, shelter and good health.
But is that enough? Case in point: my daughter's school recently collected new and used supplies for the animal shelter. I suggested she gather up cat toys she could find around our house since our ten-year-old tiger cat would rather sleep than play. My daughter wasn’t satisfied with that. I told her if she wanted to buy items, then she could spend her own money on them. Without hesitating, she ran upstairs and opened her piggy bank. She had $9.78 left from her birthday money. I didn’t want her to regret this tomorrow, so I reminded her of the things she could buy with her savings: doll clothes and books about fairies. She suddenly thought those things were trivial.
At this point, I gladly took her to the store so she could select pet toys, collars and tiny cans of tuna-flavored food. She remembered how happy our striped kitty was when I let her lick the can after I made tuna salad. My daughter decided she wanted to buy some Fancy Feast for our Cat Chow cat, too.
I was so proud of her. She cared about the animals at the shelter just as much as she did about her own grumpy cat.
In this season of giving, for which charities do you have a soft spot in your heart?