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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Philanthropy Boy

My oldest son made me very proud today. He walked into the kitchen after school and said, "Mom, can we have a hot chocolate stand?" I said, "Sure, hon," thinking this was a great way to spend some time outside since it wasn't actually freezing (a welcome break from our recent weather). But then, my boy said, "We're going to donate half the money we earn to a homeless shelter, a quarter to an animal shelter and then who ever works at the stand will split the rest." Seriously? My seven year old son thought of this? My son thought of this instead of making a Christmas wish list to mail to Santa? My heart filled with love and pride as I thought, "That's ma' boy!"


So I put on the kettle of water and scrounged up some holiday mugs and cocoa mix. He brought up a kid-sized table from the basement and called our neighbor for a marshmallow donation. Within ten minutes we were set. And the timing was perfect... it was just dark enough to really see our Christmas lights shining bright!

We're lucky to live on a court full of children eager to help. As employees, they were entitled to a share of the profit, of course. Each took their duties seriously whether it was advertising (knocking on every door), measuring out the cocoa mix, stirring the water, adding marshmallows, taking the money or babysitting the youngest staff member (my 14 mo. old).

Considering they were out for just an hour (before it was too dark and cold) and only 4 out of 7 houses had someone home, they did pretty well. After deducting their salary, the children made $12! Not bad considering their customers were 2 adults and themselves. How sweet it was that after setting everything up, they all ran into their houses to fetch a dollar and buy a cup of hot cocoa from themselves.

The math went out the door in the end; the proceeds will be divided in half. We plan to donate $6 to our town's homeless shelter and visit our county Humane Society with our $6 (plus lots of love for the animals). Sure, it's not much but isn't the point just that he had the idea? I love that he's ready to make a difference and already believes he can.

And as if the evening weren't rewarding enough, I was even able to finally snap a picture worthy of a holiday card. Here it is - our holiday card 2008 photo - da da da dum:

21 comments:

RobynsOnlineWorld said...

That's great! I think it's nice that the amount is what it is, it shows the kids that every penny is important and will be appreciated where they are donated.

Jayne Tanton said...

I swear I have tears in my eyes! I pray that my boys not only can do the same when they get older but have the idea to do it themselves! You have an amazing little guy there! You really should be soo proud!

craftymamaof4 said...

You guys did a great job! It looks like you had fun! Your local homeless shelter is lucky to have someone like you! Merry Christmas :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a thoughtful young man! I bet this is just the begining for him, giving feels good and I bet he'll come up with more ways to share! Congrats on such a loving family!

Jennifer said...

The world needs more young people like this. Every little bit can make a difference. Good for you all for living a life of giving.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing to do!! I am sure your local shelters will be very appreciative of your donations. What a clever idea for such a young age. Keep it up ~~ small hands can change the world! ~~

Annie said...

What a great idea. It's so good to help people and animals. Hope you had fun too!

jennifer musser-metz said...

This is wonderful! Congrats for raising such a thoughtful son. Especially with the economy right now, it's so important to think of the less fortunate. Happy Holidays!

Erin Traub said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful little boy you have raised! I hope my little boy can have as much concern for others as your son does.

Melissa said...

I wish I lived in your neighborhood so I could have supported the cause! What a generous young man! I can't wait to see the sort of amazing things he'll do as an adult with a heart that huge! Great work!!

Linda Penning said...

What an amazing young man...he will surely make a difference in this world......

BusyMama said...

You GO JOE! I'm very proud of the decision you made to help others. And, I'm very proud that your Mom took you seriously and supported your efforts. Lots of love!

Bridget Mitchell said...

I love this story! He sounds like a great kid. The picture turned out adorable.

Andrea - Mixit said...

That is FANTASTIC! Well done for a great idea and a great outcome!

Kristin B. said...

Andrea, what a wonderful story! Sounds like he must have pretty terrific parents :)

Allison said...

I am so proud of you. You are an admirable young man. Your kindness is what makes me wnat to be a teacher. The people and animals in your commmunity are lucky to have you. Keep up the inspiring ideas.
Mrs. Gangloff

Anonymous said...

That was such a kind thing to do! It will help so many different people, and it was so good of you to think of other people at this time of year. Keep up the good work, Joe!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea from a very special young man. He must be proud of himself that he can get so many friends to help out and make a difference for the animals and for the homeless people he cares about! Our world needs more people like you!

Lisa Gotkin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Gotkin said...

Great job Joe! Next time send out an e-mail so more people could "just happen to be in the neighborhood". Ryan has been wanting to an Alex's Lemonade stand. Have you heard of it? Maybe we could join forces and do a big one in the spring.

Michelle said...

I may be a little late reading your story but what an amazing little boy you have. You know he will do wonderful things through the years.

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