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Sugar Bowl Mix: Giving to a bigger cause

Monday, January 3, 2011

Giving to a bigger cause

A long time ago Caroline and a friend had a lemonade and cookie stand.

Caroline wanted the proceeds to go to a cat rescue foundation in memory of Jasper, our cat whom we had recently lost. Somehow the money sat in a cup for, um, a very long time. We finally figured out a cat rescue organization that was a good candidate for the money: Pet Orphans. But the money still sat, stuffed in a paper cup. Bad mom.

Then, a year later, both girls manned a bake sale at our big yard sale.

They wanted the proceeds to go to helping cats in need in memory of Jasper and Emory, a kitten we lost earlier in the year. More money was added to the paper cup that sat on the bookshelf.

A few weeks before Christmas we lost Charles, our 17 1/2 year old cat. We were all heartbroken. Three cats in a year. It was time get that paper cup down off the shelf. It was time to tackle giving with a hands-on experience by making a giving trek.

It was raining hard as we pulled up to The Pet Orphans but that didn't dampen the girls enthusiasm. They were greeted as official donors. They were given a tour.

They played with the kittens.

They played with the older cats.

Even Tim got into it.

Katherine wanted to take home one of the playful kittens. We explained we were there to help the cats and kittens, not take them home. She pushed some more. "I really want to bring him home." But in the end a promise of some extra play time with the kitten seemed to satisfy her.

They handed over their $50 in various crumpled bills.

And then we waited while three different people tried to print out the official certificate of appreciation which thanked them for making a donation in memory of Jasper, Emory and Charles. The printer wasn't working. They tried another printer. It wasn't working either.

Katherine started complaining that she was hungry, that she wanted to leave.

It was time to go. Tim asked if they could email us the certificates and we left.

I'd like my girls to grow up knowing there are causes in the world bigger than them, than any of us, and I'd like for them to feel like they can make a difference. Even if it's a small difference.

When I heard Katherine saying "I'm hungry" I wondered if any of it had sunk in.

Do you help your kids donate to charitable organizations? If you do, how old were they when you started?

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This post is participating in 5 Minutes for Mom's Tackle it Tuesday.

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