Junior Golf: The Gift of Giving

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we will talk about the other side of the Christmas gift equation, giving rather than receiving. While I think most parents would expect their children to enjoy giving to those less fortunate, sometimes it is not until we see our youngster’s faces after they see the faces of the recipients of their gifts, that we genuinely understand the feelings involved.

1 of S3’s first experiences with giving was when he was 5 or 6 years old. There was a lady who each Thursday night needed volunteers to put together sack lunches to be given to the homeless in downtown San Antonio. So I, Linda and S3 headed over to help. S3, while not overjoyed at this, was at least curious and eager to see what was involved. Reality hit when the lady in charge explained the importance of what we were about to do, which was make 500 sack lunches which would probably be the only food the recipients would get for a whole day or longer. Now when a kid of any age sees 2 pieces of white bread with 1 slice of bologna, a tiny bag of chips and a can of soda go into a paper bag and that’s all someone may get to eat for 24 hours or more, they are certainly taken aback. The positive feelings of doing something truly worthwhile were evident with all who helped and it hit S3 pretty hard.image

Some members of our Parenting Awesome Kids Sunday School Class have strong ties to the Salvation Army. There were openings to be red kettle bell ringers at a local retail store and we asked if any families wanted to work 3-hour shifts. Folks volunteered and made some lifetime family memories and saved the Salvation Army from having to pay folks for those shifts.

Yes, it’s easier to just write a check and that’s a good thing. But if you really want to impact your kids and yourself and spouse as well, get face-to-face with a real-life giving experience. Ask around, call the Salvation Army or some local churches. You will be amazed at how many viable options there are. And don’t be shocked when your junior golfer gives you a strange look when you tell them what your family has signed up for. It’s the look after you are finished that will melt your heart. And this may very well be the start of a new dimension of thinking for you child.

Linda and I have watched S3 and a number of his friends grow into their own spirit of giving. Many come home from college to participate in the Feed My Starving Children Campaign which is held here every September. Once you expose your kids to these wonderful opportunities to give you will see them have an eagerness to participate in future events. They get it.

A word on charities. Not all are what they appear to be. 2 that we are very comfortable with are the Salvation Army and Feed My Starving Children. Both have extremely low administrative expenses, meaning that a huge percentage of revenue goes directly toward helping those in need. A story: we met a young lady that mentioned she had spent time in Haiti working with a Christian charity. When I said that we had worked with Feed My Starving Children, she said they had received and given out 1,000’s of FMSC packets in Haiti. Folks it is reassuring to have someone verify that they have actually given out the fruits of your and your child’s charitable efforts in a far away land.

See you on #1 tee looking charitable… Sam

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