Posts tagged ‘charity’

September 17, 2012

Pennies for Piggies update

A while ago I wrote about a small charity founded by Sarah Brown called PiggyBankKids and our plans to support them with a coin collection, after being inspired by the fabulous DorkyMum and Blog4Charity. Well, the summer is over, and we have a full jar of coins to send off to as our little contribution.

And it is little, I know that. I’d hazard a guess that it’s only £20 or so – because it’s mostly coppers, collected in a jam jar, by a five and three year old. At first I was a bit embarrassed by how little we’ve managed to collect ( especially during our time away from home on holiday, where we collected nothing) but I’ve been thinking this over for a while and I’ve changed my mind.

The whole experience has been about far more than collecting a little jar of money. It has had lots of bigger learning experiences for us all. Firstly, it has taught my daughter a bit more about money. Over the summer, she’s started getting pocket money of her own, and we’ve introduced to her the idea that we’re not actually made of money after all (far from it!) and if she wants to buy all the toys she likes, then she had better start saving that pocket money up. Learning about how much things cost, and the value of things – deciding if she really, really wants something, is the start of her learning to manage her money far better than I ever did. She also does a couple of little jobs to earn this money – just helping to tidy up and making her bed, but again, important lessons.  Deciding how much to give her each week, to make sure that saving up for something doesn’t take so long the reward is lost, has been a good learning experience for me.

The other, equally important lesson has been that of charity. Learning a bit more about the wider world, about how other people and situations might need our help and how we can contribute to make things better, has been the main side effect of our little charity pot. We have talked about how some people are less fortunate than we are, and about how great it is that we can do a little bit to help make the world a better place. The fact that Eve knows and is very proud of being a premature and therefore tiny baby, means that she is very happy to help other little babies through PiggyBankKids. We’ve sponsored a child for a couple of years and now our daughter is old enough for us to start talking about him too, and what his life is like. Eve has also decided she’d like to sponsor a snow leopard, but I’m pretty convinced she’s been swayed by the cuddly toy – some things never change!

We’ll probably carry on collecting coppers in a jam jar too – it’s such a simple thing and one that the kids both enjoy and understand. And of course the next step  is sending this collection off to PiggyBankKids and showing my children that the money they’ve collected matters and will help someone else. A valuable lesson from a little jam jar, and something that doesn’t feel so much like the end of our charitable giving as a family, but like the beginning.

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July 23, 2012

Pennies for Piggies

Raising money for charity has taken on a whole new meaning these days. Every day I go into Leeds I see people trying to get us all to set up a direct debit for this charity or that, or I get asked to donate to someone’s fund-raising challenge. I know the direct debits are cost effective, but I don’t like being accosted every time I walk down the street! Occasionally, I also admit that it feels as though I’m being asked to donate to pay for someone else’s holiday of a lifetime, which makes me wonder if the charitable element can sometimes get a bit lost, despite the good intentions. I’ve done it myself though, asking people to donate to my Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Although given how hard I found that (there were tears), I feel as though I earned my charity the money through proper hard graft!

Anyway, onto the actual subject of my blog post. Recently, I was struck by something I read over at Dorky Mum about PennyBankKids. I didn’t go to Britmums, it’s not really my thing. But I did read lots and lots of tweets, blog posts and comments about it, and the one thing that everyone universally said was how great Sarah Brown was. She spoke about her small charity PennyBankKids, who, through their flagship project The Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory,  raise money for research into conditions of pregnancy and premature birth (something I have a personal interest in, my daughter was born at 30 weeks) and support vulnerable children and young people get a chance in life.

What really struck me about the post, and subsequent campaign, is the brilliant simplicity. No climbing mountains or setting up direct debits. Just good old fashioned charity. The blog4charity campaign is asking us to collect our loose change over the course of a month and then send it in, whatever the amount, to PennyBankKids. The few coppers that we don’t really think about would make a big difference to a small charity. To use a phrase probably copyrighted by one of my least favourite organisations, every little helps.

So, I’m off to find an old jam jar to collect my coins in, and then I’m going to be brave and stick my hand down the back of the sofa. Where, hidden among old bits of toast, broken crayons and lost toys, I am sure to find a few coins to start me off. I’m also going to get the kids involved. What a great, straightforward way of teaching them a little about charity. Let’s see if we can fill our jam jar.