Charity Begins at Home.
Today we often hear how entitled the generation Z is. Even more so than the millennials were whom we are still trying to understand. Most of us are aware of the needs, world tragedies, poverty, homelessness, brokenness, and we try to empathize to some extent. To which exactly? What moral code or principle dictates us how much to give and to whom to give? Who is in the position to give? When is your time to stop taking and to start giving? How do I explain my teenage son that the cost of an iphone that he had recently purchased can feed a hundred kids somewhere in the world? Moreover, how do I make him care?
I say charity begins at home and it begins early. If parents are giving, children will be giving. If parents don’t have a giving streak in their soul, you know who can teach them? Their youngest kids. There is so much hope there. Kids have amazingly big hearts. They imagine how they are “helping” or “giving” something to a child in need of their age, and it makes them happy. (I don’t think a 40-year old male is especially thrilled when he is thinking of sending a Christmas gift to some other 40-year old dude on another continent. “Why doesn’t he work hard like I do?” “Why doesn’t he move from that poor country?” There are so many questions that require some form of justification for charity before an adult gives. Kids are different. They don’t always have the concept of money, but they have the concept of joy when it’s shared.
My younger daughter pushes me to give. She makes me give. She brings a box from school (Spring Mountain Christian Academy) and tells me that it’s time to go to the store to pack a box for a child in need in Ukraine. It’s a special shopping trip for her. We actually bring the box with us to the store, trying to fill it up till there is no space and jam it all in right there at the register. Sometimes the cost of items she picks, surpasses any Christmas gift she herself may expect. But like I said, kids have no concept of money. She cares that some child she does not know has gloves, a warm hat, school supplies, candy, gum, a toy, but also a tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, underwear, and all other necessities she can think of as if she would be receiving the box. ONCE A YEAR. She is not just sending some unnecessary lying around the house items; she intentionally picks what’s needed. What matters. What she would want. There is a sense of urgency and seriousness. It’s an opportunity she can’t miss. She tries to participate each year. She selects a different age category and gender each year. “Mom, last year I already gifted a 9-year-old girl, so this year it’s going to be a 7-year-old boy,” she says intentionally. We then wrap the box in Christmas paper and take it back to school where a pile of similar boxes are waiting to sail to Ukraine.
Spring Mountain Christian Academy and Revival Church of Portland/Vancouver area partner with OMNIS Foundation to pack and deliver over 500 Christmas gifts annually to children in need and orphans in Ukraine. Revival church alone collects over 400 boxes each year. Their ladies’ ministry adopted this Christmas drive, and they encourage adults and kids in the church to participate. This is a special time of giving and celebration in this community. The school and the church had partnered with OMNIS Foundation to deliver the gifts to Ukraine. We encourage you to participate in our Christian shoe box drive next year.
Hanna Grishkevich Ph.D.
Spring Mountain Christian Academy