On Their Own
Do you know what is important to your kids?
I mean the kind of things in the world that they find meaningful. Do you know? Because I surely didn’t. Until this past Shabbos when PC asked each one of them to decide where they would like to send their tzedakah.
It was one of those moments — brief, magical, rare moments — when all three kids sat quietly, listened respectfully, and participated thoughtfully. Each contributed their own age-appropriate thoughts about the meaning of the word ‘tzedakah.’ PC then asked them to think about something in the world that needed help or fixing. What problem did they want to help solve.
Three hands shot up in the air.
Poppyseed: You know that hospital that helps the really sick kids? I want to send my tzedakah there.
Beernut: I want to send it to the place that does the walk for autism.
It was a little harder for Peach to focus in on one place. But that is only because he kept naming friends to whom he would give his tzedakah if they didn’t have any money. Eventually, though, he decided that he wanted to make certain that all kids have toys.
Throughout their lives, our children have heard us talk about societal ills, natural disasters, and medical devestation. They have walked to raise awareness for the genocide in Darfur, given tzedakah to family causes (the American Cancer Society, Retinoblastoma International, and the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America), planted trees in Israel, and so much more.
But asking them to think about those issues that right now concern them, that capture their imagination, that moves their souls taught me more about who they are right now than I could have discerned on my own.
And so, contributions have been made, in their names, to the following agencies/organizations:
- Autism Speaks
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- our local Marine Toys for Tots Foundation campaign office