#2. Call a charity to volunteer. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen today. Just look up the number, make the call, and make an appointment to volunteer sometime in the next month. It can be whatever charity you like. Volunteering is one of the most amazing things you can do.
Years ago I taught a horticulture class. Part of the class was starting various plants from seeds and cuttings. We had a bunch left over, tomatoes, peppers, assorted flowers and such.
We set up a table at a spring open house and sold them for little of nothing, made maybe a hundred dollars.
The kids and I talked about what to do with the money, pizza, bowling all sorts of ideas. One student must have had a sibling in kindergarten but anyway he suggested we buy the preschool and kindergarten classes some toys. Now this is a small rural school all these kids probably went to grade school there and knew the toys were minimal.
Anyway I sent a couple kids to talk to the teacher and get some ideas, we wanted fun toys, not educational stuff. The kind of stuff her budget didn't have room for.
Anyway, to the point. Those kids had the best time watching the little ones play with the toys and seeing the pictures they drew to thank them. They got more out of that than any activity they could have done for themselves. I would like to think they learned something.
I can’t think of a better example of kids learning the rewards and seeing the benefits of being charitable mcfarmer.
A pizza pary might be more fun while the party is going on for some but when the party is over.......the fun is over.
In this case,those kids knew that they created long lasting fun for somebody else(s)....with no end point, especially no end point to their feeling good about their act of kindness.
This is worth another post of the week!
I fixed a central air conditioner system today for free an elderly couple . they were one of my first customers thirty years ago when I was 25 and they were 55. The part cost seven dollars and fifteen minutes of labor. I chatted with them for about a half hour, they gave me a can of cold coca cola. I said on this hot Saturday,this one is on me,I am grateful for the thirty years of patronage. I know in a week or two I will receive a thank you card and a gift certificate to the local pizza shop. I will treat all the guys to a pizza some friday
Way to go Mike!
Thanks for sharing and helping to make the world a better place!
I'll need to add this entire thread to our best.
Last summer I saw an add on the local online classifieds someone wanted a dehumidifier and stipulated free or low cost.
We had two in the basement, one of which my folks had in their house. That one would frost up if the temp got too low which it nearly always was in the basement. Not much good for me. So I called the number and a lady gave me an address. I recognized it as the local low income apartments. I told her no charge and I would deliver it, third floor apartment.
She was happy but surprised at how much noise it made. Maybe two weeks later I saw a dehumidifier advertised for 50 bucks, yeah, it was her number.
Pretty funny mcfarmer.
When our sons were 7 and 9, we decided to find a poor family for Christmas and make them a part of our buying a bunch of stuff for them to make it a special Christmas and we wanted to actually surprise the family by coming to there house with the stuff.
For 11 years, I was part of our WEHT "Santa Clothes Club" at our tv station, which raises tons of money to buy poor kids a complete outfit, including Winter coat. http://www.santaclothesclub.org/
With that organization, you just give money and they do the rest. That organization has names of poor families from schools or other sources that verifies they are poor.
We wanted to do something that our sons could see. So we used WSTO radio station that had a list and they gave the address's of the family that we picked or adopted and the age of their 2 kids, so we knew what sort of stuff to buy. In fact, we requested and got a family with kids around the same age as ours so our boys could sort of relate to the situation.
We must have spent $1,000, buying clothes, toys and food(I had a great year trading and we didn't need money then). We made arrangements to come to their house before Christmas.
My wife grew up in the projects very poor and I grew up in the Detroit area, my dad in the inner city on welfare with no dad, so we had expectations of a family that wasn't too much different than that.
When we got to the house with our van loaded with stuff, my first comment was "this isn't such a bad neighborhood"
They let us in and the first thing that I noticed was a big screen tv that was nicer than ours. They had alot of other nice stuff too. We didn't say anything but they were in apology mode from the start, with the dad saying "I know how this looks but I just lost my job recently".
Their son was around the same age as our sons, so they went back to his room to play. My oldest boy came back after a short while excited about all the cool video games he had that our sons wanted and was naming them off for me.
Clearly, this family just signed up on a list with a radio station that had good intentions but did not check to see if these people were poor or not. I called WSTO afterwards to let them know what happened and they acknowledged that. We could have signed up on their list to get things that Chrismas.
So I guess there were several lessons learned.
1. "Some" people will use the system to get free stuff using generous, compassionate people and we should scrutinize the charity to make sure its legit as well as the need of the benefactors.
2. This family didn't know their free stuff would come with a visit from the generous people, who busted them. How that played out? Maybe the embarrassment taught them a lesson/was negative reinforcement or maybe the amount of free stuff gave them positive reinforcement to keep doing that sort of thing. They really did seem like nice people.
3. We explained to our sons that these people were really not poor but minimized the commentary so as to not turn it into a "don't trust people" story or "don't help others" story.
4. Deb and I were extremely unhappy about that experience.............but realize that this represents a small minority of people. However, the thing that upset us the most, is that the lesson we worked hard to teach our sons that Christmas(help those less fortunate) backfired completely.