Teaching Children To Give By Betsy Barnes

Giving. It's a trait we all hope our children develop. But, like most things, we have to teach this trait to them. Many families participate in the Angel Trees at Christmastime or backpack drives at the start of the school year. These are tangible, simple ways for our children to learn the joy of giving to others. Participating in these programs with our children on a regular basis helps them see, understand and learn to give to others.

Well, I have another program that you and your kids can participate in. Our church (Santa Fe Baptist Church) has a children's home in Mexico City. Most of the kids in the home come directly off the streets or are pulled out of abusive homes. The kids enter the home with nothing. Most of the little girls have never owned a baby doll and most of the little boys have never owned a toy car. The home provides warm beds, delicious meals, education and love. But they struggle to meet the day to day necessities, so frivolous things like stuffed animals and baby dolls usually cannot be bought. We, however, try to remedy that.

Each year we take a trip to the home and have a week of fun with the kids. We take them to a safari park, playground park and have a huge fiesta for them. At the fiesta they get a bag of gifts that are bought just for them. It's a fun week for everyone. But we need help getting gifts for each child (currently, there are 48 kids in the home).

If this sounds like something you'd like to do, email me (lebarnes84@gmail.com) and I can send you a list of toys that we need. My little girl loves to pick things out for the little girls in the children's home. She actually talks about the kids all the time (she even has pictures of them in her room). This has been the best way for us to teach her how important and rewarding giving can be.

You can also sponsor a child for the entire week (all the entrance fees and gifts cost $83 per child). If this is something you're interested in doing, you can visit the home's website at: www.agchmx.org. Click on "Give a Smile" to read about the kids and the week that we spend with them. There's also a gallery with photos of each child who hasn't been sponsored with a paypal donate button.

As always, we understand that not everyone can afford to give. But everyone can afford to pray! Please pray that the home will have sufficient funds to provide daily needs and pray that we can find enough donors to make sure every child gets a great Fiesta Week! Since each child has a picture on the website gallery you can go online and pray for each child by name. Many are emotionally and physically hurt. They need your prayers. - Betsy

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