I have spent the past several days clearing out the creepy dungeon that is my basement. I love to get rid of things and I used to run donations to thrift stores on a regular basis. One of our MOMS Club of Front Royal members volunteers at a great organization in town called C-CAP. They provide food and clothing and basic necessities (toothbrushes, etc) to people who are unable to receive assistance another way. Last month I loaded my van full of baby clothes, a stroller, car seat, and high chair and brought it over to C-CAP and just wanted to be able to do more. The organization is completely run by volunteers and primarily supported by donations from individuals, churches, local businesses, etc. Today I had the pleasure of bringing another van load over - this time clothes that my husband and I have been weeding out of our closet for the past couple of years. I have a couple of other ideas to hopefully help out C-CAP this summer.
I have a box of books to take to Samuels Public Library and another box of cookbooks and children's books that I took to Goodwill. I was able to fill two bins at Goodwill with donations and found out that they also take computers for recycling. I brought Kyle and Liam with me on our donation adventure. I am hoping it will sink in that we are giving things to people who can use them. Kyle understands the meaning of donation but not really the concept. He keeps saying "I am donating this to Liam."
According to dictionary.com:
do·nate [doh-neyt, doh-neyt]
Show IPA verb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
1. to present as a gift, grant, or contribution; make a donation of, as to a fund or cause: to donate used clothes to the Salvation Army.
Show IPA verb, gave, giv·en, giv·ing, noun
1. to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow: to give a birthday present to someone.
34. to make a gift or gifts; contribute: to give to the United Way.
So I guess that the difference between donating and giving is whether or not you get a tax receipt? Either way it feels good.
I just want my kids to really understand it. I ordered this book from Amazon called The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving and I cannot wait to get it in the mail. The book has lots of ideas for teaching children to give in ways that they can understand and participate in.
Sometimes it seems we have access to too much information. Trying to find a place to donate to online was overwhelming. I was glad to find local organizations the old fashioned way . . . . by actually talking with other human beings. I am on the Special Education Advisory Committee for Warren County (SEAC) and they are putting together a resource list for parents whose children have special education needs. Just by attending one SEAC meeting I learned about a lot of organizations in our county that help various people.
I am hoping to put some kind of resource packet together for our MOMS Club. As a new Mom or a Mom new in town or a Mom finding herself in the middle of a new diagnosis for herself or her child, it all can be very overwhelming. I have really benefited from having this network of Moms with different ideas and contacts and ways of doing things. Hopefully through this experience I will make new contacts in the community as well as giving back. I love the idea of small town living where your neighbors just pitch in to help each other out because that's what should be done. It seems like now everyone is in a rush, multitasking and lost in their smartphones. Maybe this giving experiment will turn out to be something more than I had hoped.