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Rant….just a little

Tam posted today on something that just got me in a little rant mode.  Although I commend American Idol for their “Gives Back” show in getting our nation involved in doing something…anything to help those in need across our own nation and abroad, I’m more than upset at the moment.

Censorship is necessary in some forms so that our kids aren’t exposed to certain messages in the media and film industry.  However American Idol is supposed to be a family friendly show, where the whole family can watch and be entertained.

Last night they targeted their acts to the younger audiences, as the music industry is tailored to the younger generation.  These stars mentioned over and over, “Kids break out your piggy banks, parents get out your wallets.”

Obviously it’s a show where kids will be watching and tuning in…..

YET they censor the name Jesus, and leave in words like bitch and ass???  Come on give us parents, Christian and non, a break from vulgar language with our kids in the room!!  Seriously????

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Feed the Children

So my son’s 5th birthday party focused on Feed the Children as it’s annual charity. I only asked that each child bring $1.00 with each gift, if they felt the need.

It resulted in about 10 dollars worth of revenue toward donations for Feed the Children. Not very much, but every little bit counts. I only listed the information in the birthday invitations, but didn’t ask anyone at his party for any donations they might have brought. I didn’t want to push, b/c I figured those that wanted to give would. The last thing I’d ever want to do is guilt anyone into giving. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been a true gift. A few other parents, that I know would have donated, ended up canceling at the last minute.

I don’t care how much or little we’re giving to our charity of choice this year. All that matters is how my son feels when he can personally delivers the cash to them, knowing how it will help other people in need. Their main lobby has large photos of kids from around the world. I know as he looks around, it will hit home how even just 10 dollars could help.

So tell me what do you all do to teach your children about the world and it’s needs?

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Birthday Giving

So today my son & I have two birthday parties to attend. It’s going to be a loooong day for mom ;), but it should be a fun one. My son’s 5th birthday is next month. I know how quickly the crud can pile up at this age…stuff that he may play with for one week and then it’s stuffed in the toy closet. With a birthday not too long after Christmas, I try not to imagine the toy clutter.

Last year I thought I would do something different. I asked for pet food in lieu of gifts, so my son could donate it to the local ‘Pets for People’ animal shelter. I explained to him how needy some animals were, with no homes or love, and asked if it would be a good idea to bring them gifts instead of opening up a bunch of gifts for himself. He loved the idea. I was worried the day of his party. What if this new 4 year old wouldn’t understand about giving back….only that he wanted something for him on his birthday? After all he was only 4 and the world is all about them at that age…as it should be.

He didn’t bat an eye. He opened each gift bag and unwrapped each cat food or dog treat with as much joy as if someone had given him a power ranger. Although he also got plenty of gifts of his own, we loaded an entire trunk up with pet food. It was a huge donation that my son got to personally deliver. The day of the drop off, he was as excited as could be. He fed some dogs treats and left feeling like he’d done something really good. …He had! This was the best birthday gift I could give him…to understand the value of giving to those in need and recognizing the payoff in how it effected them AND him.

This year he wants to give to FEED THE CHILDREN . He’s really concerned with kids in Africa living in mud homes with no food or education. He’s amazed that they have no grocery stores, and that they have to farm or hunt for their food unless in a program to get help. We already sponsor a child, through Compassion International, who my son loves to send letters too. BUT he knows Feed the Children helps with kids all over, not just Africa.

When I asked him if he wanted to help a charity this year for his birthday, he answered, “Oh yes, but will I get presents for me too?” I told him we’d only ask for $1 to go toward any charity he wanted, and that we wouldn’t ask for the donations to be in replacement of his own gifts this year. Now his gifts would accompany a dollar donation to the charity of his choice. That made him so happy. He’s excited to bring money so that other kids will have food. He even mentioned, “The animals still have plenty to eat from last year…I want to help kids eat this year mom.” My child is an amazingly compassionate kid for his age.

AND Of course I’m not going to be a cruel mom and NOT let him have gifts. I want his birthday to be just about him. I only want him to recognize how blessed he is and to learn to re-pay some of it back. And I think he does. He’s a very civic minded ‘almost’ 5 year old.

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To help a child


We all see those TV commercials showing the emaciated child in a third world country, with a local celebrity promoting a cause for just 2 cents a day. I don’t know about you but most times I felt shamed and turned the channel. I always wanted to help, but commercials were not motivating to me.

I always feel that if you want someone to do donate to a cause…any cause–the way NOT to do it is by shaming them into it. I feel if you want to motivate someone to take action you have to show what positives actions have taken place and incent them to join in on the crusade to change lives, like The American Heart Association, who recently showcased hundreds of female survivors. These women were lobbying support for a bill that helps target heart disease in women, but they also were sharing their stories of survival. It was an incentive to others to get involved.

The cause my family recently took on was one of Compassion. Compassion International is a non-profit group. It’s a Christian child advocacy group that releases children from their third world circumstances. My son receives National Geographic Kids magazine, where he learns many fascinating things about the world around him. One issue focused on the Masai people, in Africa. He was in awe that other kids his age lived in houses made of mud bricks and sticks….that they didn’t have the conveniences of his world. He talked about the Masai people for months….”Mommy do the Masai people get to ride on their scooters?” I would reply, “I don’t think so honey, they have a lot simpler toys like sticks and balls.”

Last month we went to a Michael W. Smith concert at church. I’ve not seen a Christian concert before and thought I was long overdue. It was a great time…all three of us enjoyed it. What touched us most was the intermission show; a video showcasing the work he’s doing with the Compassion movement. My son saw first hand in that video the circumstances those people are subjected to and he felt so moved to help. We left after the intermission b/c it was bedtime for my four year old, but not before we picked up a Compassion brochure, which showed us how to sponsor a child online.

Last night my little one got to pick out his own child, and it was the most sweet endearing process. He chose a nine year old boy from Rwanda, Africa. He knows that our money goes to benefit his life and education every month. He gets that he’s giving another child a chance and it makes him so happy. Now he wants to draw pictures of him on his scooter to send to little Abayisenga in Africa, and I’m so proud of his giving heart.

If you’ve ever wanted to give back to a child here in the United States or abroad, please listen to your heart! Choose to clink on the link above and search through the Compassion website. They’re a wonderful organization that helps enrich the lives of children abroad with a better health, education, and the message of Christ. Search your heart and take action!!!