Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tis the Season

Braxton’s name was drawn as the winner of the $500 Wal-Mart gift card from the Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising raffle.  As the president of their advisory board – I was a little stressed/nervous about what to do…

So, I talked to a friend – and she gave some pretty good advice about letting this be an opportunity to teach Braxton about giving. Then I talked to James – and he said that if ANY of his relatives with the last name “Kindel” would have won – SOME people would still think the same way….no matter how “fair” the drawing was….so Braxton shouldn’t be punished for being lucky, or for having a Mom on the board – because we wouldn’t expect any of the other “Kindel’s” to donate the card back. And finally, I had been feeling guilty that I hadn’t taken the time to do more for others this year. I did a lot of crafting to sell to others, which paid for my family’s Christmas….but I wanted to GIVE more to others – and I feel like this is a really good opportunity to do that.

Last night, I told Braxton about the raffle – and that I had bought a ticket for him and Keely to help out the BBBS program. I told him that his name was drawn, and what the prize was. I then assured him that our family had enough food, and that I had enough money to buy all of our Christmas presents. After telling him all of that – I asked him what HE thought we should do with the card. He said “we should buy some food for the poor – my school is collecting it, so we could bring it there.” I asked if he had some more ideas, and he said “we could buy them some Christmas presents too!” I was SO proud of him. And of course he is still a little boy….so after talking about all the things he was going to buy for others – he asked “what if there is some money left?” So I said he could probably pick out toy for being so generous to others. Then he said – “what if there is still a little bit left?” – and I told him maybe he could buy something for his little sister. He wanted to buy something for James and I too – but I told him that we didn’t need anything (and I am taking my kids shopping for their Dad separately).

He thought of ideas for different programs ALL evening, and even had trouble going to sleep because he said he couldn’t turn his brain off! This morning, he came into the kitchen when I was getting him breakfast and said “thanks for buying that ticket Mom.”  

I talked to one of the Sisters at Neighbor-to-Neighbor this morning. She gave me some ideas of what he could buy for their program, and asked me to call before having him bring them over so that their Director could be there for a photo-Op, and they’re planning to do a write-up about it. I think this could actually turn into a good opportunity for BBBS publicity, and for “Paying it Forward.” I think it will look good for our program to have the winner from a BBBS fundraiser turn around and help MANY different organizations – just another way to show how BBBS positively affects the community!! (And should be SUPPORTED so that it can stick around for a LONG time!!!!!).

Some of the other programs/people he would like to buy for are his school, the food bank, the family in Jamestown who’s house caught on fire….and I will be helping him to identify other needs in the community (CASA, etc….).
This little “project” will be called “Braxton’s Gift.”  We are starting TONIGHT with one family and two oganizations, and will purchase supplies, food, gifts, etc…  I will be keeping track of the list, the purchases, and the giving with Braxton’s notebook, receipts, and photos, and will be posting the project on this family blog.  We will do a few programs/families each week, and document our progress as we go. 
We are truly humbled by this experience, and proud to be helping turn a BBBS fundraiser into an opportunity to do even more than it was initially intended for. 

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