Herald Journal Columns
Oct. 31, 2005, Herald Journal

Teaching our children life lessons

By JENNI SEBORA

My family and I have been talking about sponsoring a child through the Christian Children’s Fund, CCF.

You probably have seen the commercials advertising CCF, and they also have information on a website, which is where we are doing our research. For a mere $24 a month, you can help a child get food, water, clothing, shelter, an education, and health and medical needs met.

Our children are a little skeptical. Maybe they felt threatened at first – not sure what it means to “sponsor” a child, but we are involving them in the process, because in a way, the child will be a member of our extended family.

Our church, and other families I know that have sponsored children through CCF, have received written correspondence and pictures from the children they sponsored, with “updates” on how they were doing. We, too, as a family, will receive the same information. It will be interesting to “watch” our sponsored child grow from a distance, and our children will grow with her.

On the CCF website, there are numerous children listed that one can choose from to sponsor, with their pictures, names, ages, and the countries they live in. When you view the pictures, your heart goes out to every one of them, wishing you could sponsor each one, but if we all “pitch in,” one child at a time, we can make a difference.

We have finally decided. We are going to sponsor a girl because in Third World countries, girls are often demeaned and not given the same opportunities as boys. We wanted to help a female break that cycle and get an education.

It’s good to teach our children life lessons about giving and helping and to appreciate what we all have. That’s a good lesson for us all. We discussed that just by giving 80 cents a day, which is less than what we spend for a snack at a ballgame or at the pool, we can help a child with clothing, nutrition, and school.

On a local news channel, children in Minnesota who need and want a home and want to be adopted were spotlighted. There was a 14-year-old girl waiting for adoption, and when they asked her why she wanted to be adopted, she sincerely said, “I want to belong to a family. I’ve never had a family.” A basic, but most important need, that many children don’t have – a family.

Whether it be through adoption, or being a foster parent, volunteering at a food shelf, donating to “Toys for Tots,” helping put food packets together to be sent to people in need, or helping out your next door neighbor – we can all make a difference, and we can involve our children in the helping.

Last year, in our community, we put food packets together that were sent to victims of disasters, and my daughter and I helped, along with my son, who was there with his Cub Scout troop. The food packets were put together in assembly line fashion, with each person having a task. My five-year old daughter was able to help by pouring in some ingredients, as well.

It was fun to see children (of all ages) and adults working together for a greater good. And you got to meet and know people you may never have had the opportunity to know before.

It is good for our children to know how fortunate they are, that there is a bigger world, and how we can all make a difference by “lending a hand.” And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, what a great time to engage in some volunteering activity with our children.

Autumn art

Create a simple autumn art project with your child that displays the beautiful colors of the season. Choosing autumn colors, in a paper cup, dilute some acrylic paint with water to a runny consistency. Do this with each color chosen.

Using a paintbrush, drip a few drops of each paint onto a piece of paper, then hold a drinking straw directly over each of the puddles of paint and blow gently to create a most spectacular starburst autumn color display. This project idea was modified from a FamilyFun idea, Fireworks Art, in the July/August, 2005 issue.

Quote

“There is no better exercise for the soul than reaching down and lifting a child close to your heart.”

– Krystyna Elizabeth Bublick