Friday, December 19, 2014
Supporter Appreciation: A Dollar a Week Gives Hope for the Animals
Thank you so much to Donna, one of our generous supporters, for contribution of this blog post and for your ongoing efforts to support Mayan Families. You and your family are a true inspiration!
When Anna and Carl were small and we first started giving them allowances, they were each given three piggy banks: Spend, Save, and Share. Every week they got three quarters, and one of those quarters went into each bank. At Christmas, they got to choose where they wanted to send their Share money. I think that the years of them personally and physically putting quarters into the banks — shaking them to feel how heavy they were getting — helped them understand the value of what they were doing with their money.
Now as teenagers they feel “too old” for piggy banks, but they know they are accruing $1/week into their Share “account” and we talk now and then during the year about where they see a need for $52. In the first weeks of December, we talk about it a lot over dinner or while driving, and they make their decision usually by the 10th.
For the last five years they have both chosen a program at Mayan Families for their Share. Sometimes they work together, for instance this year they gave $104 to the Hope for the Animals Program, because of some recent posts on the Mayan Families blog. Our own pets are all rescues, and when we spent three months in Guatemala a few years ago (two of those months volunteering with Mayan Families) my kids had tremendous empathy for all the street dogs, and loved to spend time with the kittens being fostered by Mayan Families at that time. Other years they have chosen to give together for more Christmas Tamale Baskets for general distribution. (Our family sponsors a girl to go to school and we send food baskets to her family as well.) Some years they split up and give live chickens to families who then sell eggs as a business, or for water filters (they were imprinted by the fact we had to be sure to have filtered water to drink when we were there!).
Every year we discuss many other options for their donations, including local charities and other Guatemalan aid organizations. We “do” things during the year for local charities with our time and physical donations. But every year they settle on Mayan Families for their Share. Anna says she wants to give to Guatemala because she loves it there and she saw for herself how many people need so much help there, and she chooses Mayan Families because she knows exactly where her money is going — down to having taken a tuk tuk there herself!
Carl feels tremendous empathy for people who are hungry and hoping for work but can’t find a job, for people who are really trying but just can’t feed their family in the Guatemalan economy. Both of my children were born in Guatemala, and adopted into our family in the U.S., and they feel a kinship not just with their relatives and friends in Guatemala but also with the nation of Guatemala; they are glad to have Mayan Families there doing what needs to be done, and they are glad to be able to help.