Abundance. Life in the affluent burbs is all about abundance. We have an abundance of stuff. Clothes, useless kitchen appliances, $300 hand bags, cars, backyard grilling items. You name it, we’ve got it and a lot of it. As my kids get older I’m starting to notice that they are developing this abundance thing as well, with their toys. I try my best to teach them that they are fortunate to have this abundance of toys, but I don’t think they don’t get it.
We celebrated a birthday this past weekend for my youngest. I got to thinking about this idea while he was opening his mountain of presents. I wish I could take credit for this one but I first heard about it at church years ago. Here’s how it works… As the birthday approaches, you talk to you kid about donating one of his presents to charity. You explain that some children are not as fortunate as you… you know the drill. The important part is that you want junior to decide to do this on his own. Don’t force them into it but rather offer it as an idea.
The charity here locally that is pushing this is called And One to Grow On. Click the link and check out their website. They will guide you through the process once your little one decides to go through with it. First, they will provide you with a card to include with your party invitations. I’m not sure if this is completely necessary but it promotes the charity. Once your party takes place, AOGO makes it easy to donate the gift. The have drop off locations for toys or they will arrange to have it picked up.
If you don’t want to go with this specific charity, I’m sure you could accomplish the same kind of thing on your own. There are dozens of local charities that will take a new unopened toy.
To me this isn’t about the gift itself. Let’s be realistic, one toy isn’t going to change the world. This is about teaching your child to think of others and give. It isn’t a huge sacrifice and your kid won’t miss one toy. Yet this is something that might spark your child into becoming a giving person. If you can raise a child in our gilded suburbs to think this way as an adult… consider yourself a successful parent.