Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to raise a philanthropist

If you popped in here to find out how you can raise giving, appreciative, and unspoiled children, who lack a sense of entitlement...um... I don't have the answer for you.

But, I think Tales from Inside the Circle of Sisterhood has some pretty great ideas on raising children who will naturally want to give of their time, their money and their talents.

And now, I am going to tell you a little story about Isaac, our second born who is almost 10 and in the fourth grade, and the journey he has been on since the end of last year.

Back in October 2011, I had read an article in our local newspaper about a group of high school students that were raising money to build a school in Mali, Africa through the African Sky organization. In that article, it was mentioned that any other efforts within the school district would be appreciated, as the students wanted the fundraising to be a community effort. Roughly $12,000-14,000 is needed to build the school in Mali.

I had asked Isaac if he wanted to help the high school with their efforts by heading up a fundraiser at his own school, which is Kindergarten through 4th Grade. He read the article and was all in. No question. He could do it.

He talked to his principal, enlisted the help of three of his friends, submitted a business plan, and that was that.

Essentially, the kids decided that they would sell "Mission Mali" wristbands at lunch instead of heading out for recess during a set two week period, and during the same two weeks, the classrooms would have a coin collection contest, with the top classroom winning a pizza party.

We are two thirds of the way through the two-week period, and I have been so honored to be the chaperone during the wristband sales. I am amazed at the excitement and generosity of the kids at our school... most of who are under the age of 10.

Coin collection jars at the school have been bursting at the seams, and I took some home with me after the wristband sales yesterday to free up space in a few of the jars . I had some time when I got home, so I decided to count up what we had raised so far for Mission Mali.

Dudes, I don't know if you realize how big this is... but our little effort to help a bigger cause has already brought in over $550! That is amazing. And, (since it is the political season), that is with only eleven of fourteen classrooms reporting! (Get it? Precincts reporting?)

You see, I only took three classrooms' coins with me yesterday... that added to wristband sales and wow! Super cool.  I cannot wait to see what I count next week when the coin collection contest officially ends!

There is one child in the school that donated all of the money he had. All $130 of it. Why? Because he simply wanted to help build a school. He is in the second grade. There are many kids in our school just like that one who see something bigger than iPods and BeyBlades.

Matt and I have always tried to instill a sense of giving in our children, but Mission Mali has given us the opportunity to show Isaac and his friends that a cause doesn't have to originate with you for you to participate in it and for you to make a difference.

Many of us in our community have now played an integral part in providing funding for a school for children who currently don't have one.

That is all sorts of awesome.

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How do you encourage philanthropy in your child(ren)?


  1. This is definitely awesome. And omg- how sweet of the one child to donate ALL of his money?!?!?!

  2. How heartwarming. I'm glad my kids go to a school where giving back to the community is important.