Two weekends ago as I worked at the toy library, I was chatting with my co-worker about the gorgeous extended spring we've had. He is from Nepal, but he has been living here for the past 3 years. He was commenting that the weather is most unusual for this time of year. I responded with how much I am enjoying it, especially given the fact that our A/C is still not installed (should have been done a month ago) and the children don't sleep well in the heat. He said, "Yes, it is nice for us, but what about the farmers? How will this weather impact the growing of food?" This simple, casual exchange reminded me once again of the bounty of our blessings. Nepal is filled with families who rely on subsistence farming for survival. I have never had to worry about food supply; he has. How easy it is to take for granted one of the greatest blessings of all!
As our children grow older, I hope they will participate in the annual selection of a charity. This year, given her joy at the Cuddly Animal Farm, I thought Ellie would like selecting a gift from Heifer International. In a snippit from their website, "In FY2007, Heifer had 867 active projects in 53 countries/provinces and 28 U.S. states. Heifer projects around the world help families achieve self-reliance through the gift of livestock and training. Gifts are passed from recipient to recipient until entire communities are transformed." For as little as $20, you can give a gift of a flock of chicks, ducks or geese...and it goes up from there. Selecting animals with older kids can be a lot of fun and a great learning experience, weighing up the potential benefits for the recipient (a sheep and a goat cost the same, so what is the real difference for the community that receives it?). This allows children to participate in charitable giving in a way that is tangible and has meaning for them. It is my hope that my children will grow to understand how rich our lives truly are and how blessed we can be to share our resources and our talents to make even the smallest difference in the world.