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Paying it forward

With Thanksgiving behind us, it was time to start our holiday gatherings. We went to NJ today to be with my cousins and their families for our annual Christmas Brunch. We exchange small gifts with the kids and eat till we can't year the hubby and I decided to mix things up a little.

I had an idea! (1 of a few per We wanted the children to understand the joys and feelings of giving to others this time of year. We all do the Toys for Tots and other donations, however this was a little different.

When we were all done opening the gifts (the kiddies), I handed each of the two families (cousins) a typed letter and an envelope that was sealed. I asked them to gather together as families and I asked 1 of the children in each family read the letter aloud to the family. Here is what the 1st letter said:

Dear Kristen & Amanda:

This is your Family Giving Challenge (FGC for short), should you choose to accept it we would be so happy. If you choose not to, please return the envelope to us, no questions asked, NOW (we love ya either way)!

Ok, so what are you going to do? Come on….think….discuss among yourselves…..

Do you accept the challenge? Even though you don’t even know what it is yet? If you say yes, then open your envelope! We are betting it’s a YES!

Then if they said "YES" to the challenge they were to open the envelope and read the 2nd letter saying this:

Family Challenge: Paying it forward….give to others….this is something that we challenge you, as a family, to do. Pay it forward, help another family, buy food for your local food pantry, give to the animal shelter, buy supplies for the troops, the possibilities are endless! Whatever you decide, do it with a grateful heart and a giving heart, ask for nothing in return – not even a thank you.

The Nitty Gritty:
• You have 2 weeks to give what is in the envelope to a charity or organization of your choice.
• It must be decided, as a family, who or what to give it to. Give it personally (if possible), with love, and all together as a family.
• Discuss - what does it mean to you? Are there other ways you can help in the future (not just monetary)? What does it mean to you to give? Receive? Which feels better?
• There are no right or wrong answers.

The Bible says: Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
Albert Schweitzer

Along with the letter in the envelope was a crisp $ 50 bill. I was so excited to see the children's faces and hear them already discussing which charity they were going to give to.

We hope to do this every year! I can't wait to hear back from the children as to where they gave and how it all turned out!


Lindsay said…
oohhh my goodness how neat! I bet the kids will love this each year!! I hope you blog about what everyone was able to do with their money!

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