Today I did something I didn't want to do. More than that. I did something that I have been feeling guilt ridden about for weeks. Today... I canceled my charitable monthly sponsorships.
I knew I needed to do it. At a certain point even donations becomes a "want" and not a "need". I might be able to see, or hope, that everything will come together in time. But it will still take time... and I have a stack of medical bills piled up on my desk.
For the last 6 years I have been sponsoring a woman through Women For Women International and a child through Save The Children. Both of these are amazing programs that really do help change the lives of the participants.
I feel like shit... but have decided to adopt a airplane oxygen mask type philosophy for now... save yourself before you try and save others. At least financially.
To assuage my guilt I've been thinking of things that I could do instead. Those of you with small kids know that it can actually be pretty hard to find volunteer opportunities that allow child participation. Since I always have at least one shadow... that's kind of imperative.
A couple of months ago I went on a field trip with Kid's class to the local food bank. It was a great experience because it was one of the rare things that a kid could actually do. I still remember a church trip to a food bank when I was a middle schooler. It was a real eye opening experience for me to realize that not everyone could afford to buy food for their families. I'm going to find out if/how Kid and I can donate our time.
The other thing I want to do is help Kid start saving and donating a portion of her allowance. She is just starting to understand the money concept and saving. Now I'd like to help her earmark a percentage of her earnings for Heifer International (a charity her class raised money for and that she particularly likes since the idea of giving animals is something tangible) and then match her donation. It will take awhile at her current, one dollar a week, pace but I think it will be a positive experience to be working together towards something.