Yet again I’ve been surprised by charity generosity. N is so different to me as a child. He’s so generous and always wants to donate to charity. Sometimes we have to rein him in a bit.
Nowadays, with the internet meaning it’s so much easier to gain or ask for sponsorship, it’s easy to feel bombarded with the asks. When I was a child, you had the odd sponsorship activity, but it wasn’t common, and was largely focused around person challenges through Brownies or school. It also meant you had to personally collect sponsorship so it was harder to fundraise the kind of amounts you can achieve today with people able to sponsor online.
I remember my poor mum having to pay out time and time again for a sponsored tea making at Brownies (and she had to drink a lot too, being the only person in the house drinking it).
I also did a sponsored silence (also Brownies).
A Shakespeare-a-thon – at 6th form, 12 hours of relay reading the plays. Although I don’t recall any sponsorship changing hands.
The odd non uniform day.
Nowadays, it’s sponsorship and charity asks galore. Through the year, we have work colleagues and school donations, plus other people we know may do sponsored activities. And then there’s tv appeals and everything else. We also donate to a local charity – if we do fundraising on the farm it goes to them, we donate to their shop over others, and support things like the Tractor Run which fundraises for them.
Otherwise, much of our fundraising goes through the school, whether it’s money or food bank items for harvest festival. We’ll usually put in more than requested for non uniform day, and both the OH and I will send money in with N for things like Children in Need or other big days. It’s nice for the school to get a bigger total, than just sending it in via the tv or online.
The last couple of years N has started wanting to put his own money in too. It started with just a pound for non-uniform day, but over time he’s been wanting to increase his donations.
I find it really sweet he’d want to donate. Although sometimes I think his donations are a little over the top for a child who’s worked hard to earn his money, or it’s been a gift from family members who might not want it donated to a charity they know nothing about.
For Children in Need he put in £10. That’s 4 weeks of pocket money (if he ever got it).
Then last week he found out someone local we know is doing a charity boxing match in aid of research for a type of cancer a little boy is suffering from. We were going to donate money anyway, as we often do for cancer charities. But N turned up with £45 in his hand for me to pay in.
I had to explain that it was too much to donate, however kind and generous it was. The OH also said the same. He’s only a child, and he could put a smaller amount of his own money into our family donation.
While it’s really generous, I don’t think he’s really grasping that you can’t just hand out money without thinking about how much you have, how long it takes to replace what you’ve handed out, and how much money will cover if you need something urgently. Yes he doesn’t pay for his essentials, but he’s got several items he wants to (or needs to) save for. So he needs to work out what he has spare, and that’s what he can choose to donate.
In the end he put in £10 which is still generous in my eyes when you’re giving through the year to others. Especially for someone who’s not earning.
I might suggest we start looking at him splitting what money he has into saving, spending and donating pots. Then as long as he’s still saving, he can increase or decrease the other pots. And it should give him a better understanding of managing his money rather than just seeing it as a stash he can hand out willy nilly.
It’s great that he wants to donate though, and he understands and empathises what others are going through.There are certain charities – that involves children, or medical issues he’s heard about – that he is keen to support. But spreading his donations through the year, or deciding on 1-2 a year to support may work out better.
How have you encouraged or helped children to donate to charity? Or have you had to rein in their enthusiasm?