“Mum, mum we have to bring money into school…”
Oh how the portent of the words rocks my world. We are ALWAYS forking out money for things happening at school and after a while it really begins to grate.
Yesterday I was informed it was Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day tomorrow (Today), something I have tried not to notice, bar rummage around in my purse for the requisite £2 per boy so they can wear home clothes for the day, over the past couple of years.
In fact if I am honest I have become rather bored of giving especially when it involves making cakes for cake sales or else signing up to endless sponsored walks that never seem to raise more than £10. It seems so pointless. As if £10 is going to help!
I used to be very enthusiastic but I think I got giving fatigue. There seemed to be endless sponsored this and that or fundraisers for the other. And then I am not all that sure I actually want to give to certain charities either for political reasons, for reasons of a private nature or else because I just don’t agree with it.
You might think reading the words above that I don’t give to charity but I do. I regularly give to people I know personally doing things like sponsored hikes, running marathons, climbing mountains or whatever and to our favourite charities all through the year. Like everyone else I could possibly do a lot more.
And I get cross about the expectation that you MUST support the given charity or fund raiser because EVERYONE else is and if you do not you are a bad person and this is especially the ones that take place at school. There are plenty of times when I just want to shout: BAH HUMBUG to it all.
BUT this year I have been taken aback by the enthusiasm my boys are showing about giving; the fun they are having and it is infectious. It is a revelation for me and I am actually beginning to enjoy myself.
After groaning inwardly at the thought of having to fork out, yet again, I stopped and actually listened to what both my boys were babbling about:
“You see Mum we have to bring in as many coins as possible, loads of them and make this great big nose for Red Nose Day and it’s got to be huge! We’re going to get all the coins from our piggy banks, so can we? Can we?
I was stunned, they were so excited about the prospect of giving away all their money and they looked at me so eagerly and with such great big smiles that I couldn’t help but grin back and agree.
“We’d better raid mine as well then,” I said.
And so this morning we went round the whole house emptying out cupboards and drawers and raiding every piggy bank in sight and had an absolute ball. Getting the coins out of some piggy banks, which were bequeathed by my grandparents, was a bit tricky but I remembered doing this with Granny and how she’d used a flat knife to get the coins out. It was brilliant watching the boys scrabbling about on the carpet picking up everything they could find as Mum made it rain money. Would that I could do that every day!
We took in all the coppers, weighing in at roughly 4kgs – no idea how much it was, in the great scheme of things probably not very much but the fun we had was priceless! And we’ve decided to save all the coppers and loose change again for next year in a great big bottle – all for charity.
So it’s not about how much per se we give, it is about enjoying the process and feeling good about it and encouraging the boys to feel that they can make a difference rather than just Mum and Dad writing a cheque or else going on line to sponsor through Just Giving, this type of charitable giving is personal and fun and actually I think I prefer it.
So look out school, I’m getting my baking hat on and I expect all my (burnt) offerings to be sold!