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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Graceful Discretion

     As the boys and I were leaving Walmart last week, we made our usual trip by the coke machines outside to get mama her Dr. Pepper. It's the holiday season so of course there was a charity table set up with a gentleman there who asked if I wanted to give any money to help this organization. I had never heard of this group nor did I recognize its' symbol. Then he offered Taylor a lollipop. I obliged and Taylor asked "mommy, can we put coins in his piggy bank?"  I am all for being charitable, don't get me wrong and don't think I'm being stingy, but Jim and I have made a consious effort to really know what goes on with the charities and ministries to which we give. We want to be good steward of the money God has loaned us. I didn't know what to tell Taylor. The usual, well, Taylor, mommy doesn't have any cash, wasn't going to work this time because I wasn't leaving there without my Dr. Pepper ($0.75). This has already happend quite a few times this month. Those red Salvation Army kettles are already out and that bell gets my kids' attention everytime. We've already donated and I don't feel like explaining that to a 3-year old every week going in and out of the grocery store and mall. But how do you, kindly, and in front of your kids, trying hard to teach them charity and the spirit of giving, oblige the requests of the charities and ministries that you have already given to or know nothing about? Any advice?
    I have been thinking about this for the past few weeks and then tonight I saw this article on Sphere about a so-called charity in New York City who said its' money went to help the homeless. Thing is, it didn't....everyone of those collectors were pocketing every cent people put in their jars. So, there again, how do I gracefully tell my 3-year old, no, we are not going to put money in their jar because I don't know anything about this charity and I am not about to stand here on the sidewalk and read that entire 10-page brochure!

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