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Generous Children

By Charlie Osewalt | 10 December 2013

Generous Children

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.

This past Tuesday, 3 December, was the second annual ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Bill and Melinda Gates sent out an e-mail that describes the day and their involvement: ‘Giving Tuesday, the idea is to take one day out of your holiday shopping and dedicate it to giving back.’ 

The Giving Tuesday website lists lots of great organizations that need your support, and although Giving Tuesday falls on December 3, you can donate any time. Remarkably, the first campaign in 2012 demonstrated a spike in online giving of up to 53%. This year’s numbers are not in yet. Except for Charlotte.

Charlotte, a four year old in the UK, made her donation before Giving Tuesday. Like Bill and Melinda, Charlotte sent out an invitation to friends and family. But here’s the difference: Charlotte wanted to give on her birthday. She had never even heard of ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Charlotte invited her loved ones to come to her birthday party bringing not gifts for her, but donations to and her Mum’s favourite charity, charity: water .

How did she get so inspired to give to others? Charlotte watched a video with her mum, Claire. That’s how she started thinking about giving generously on her birthday to others. Together, mum and daughter made birthday party invitations with the request: ‘Instead of presents, please visit Charlotte’s charity’s page.’

Claire used give.net to set up a fundraising page and asked people to donate in her name in lieu of birthday presents to charity: water. How did it turn out?

Her friends, classmates and family loved the idea and donated almost £200. (She also got some small personal presents, like a mermaid cup.)  Charlotte’s goal was £100. But the best bit: a little girl from her class brought an envelope with £10 in it to the party. Claire said to Charlotte, ‘Honey, you met your goal. Why don’t you keep this bit for yourself?’

 

‘No, mummy, those children need clean water. I want to help give it to them.’

 

How can you be like a generous child this season?

A resource: I have a friend who on Boxing Day-after the business, excesses, and joys of Christmas-sits down with his three children and plans what to give from a special Christmas present: stewardship vouchers. Each child gets a voucher and chooses to give the voucher to designated charity. Why? Part of understanding generosity is in being generous. How can your family give in a planned and thoughtful manner after Christmas? Here are some simple steps:

Order charity gift vouchers and pass on the gift of giving this Christmas...

To request your gift vouchers (available in £10s or £20s), gift cards and envelopes:

1. Login to your Stewardship account at www.Stewardship.org.uk/online (if you don’t have an account yet you can set one up at https://my.give.net/account/create )

2. Click the Donate button and choose 'charity gift vouchers' from your recipient list

3. Enter the total amount

4. Enter your order details in the 'Reference' box (e.g. no. of vouchers & cards)

5. Orders will be posted to your account address within 2 working days.

Please order by 13th December to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

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Read more like this:

No man is an island

Fundraise for the Philippines - 9 steps to hosting a successful coffee fundraising morning

Steadfast under trials - podcast from The Tron Church

 

photo used under Creative Commons Licence by Official U.S. Navy

Posted by Charlie Osewalt

Charles Osewalt is a husband, father of four children and former elder at Redeemer Church NYC. He has worked in schools for the last twenty years as principal in the Morrisanna section of the Bronx. He formerly worked as a content and curriculum specialist for Stewardship. He tweets at @charlesosewalt

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