There have been a lot of commercials and even an hour long fundraising commercial about children in other countries. The poorest of the poor.
Last weekend, as I was tackling the mountain of clothes that needed to be folded, my daughter came in the room crying. At first, I thought maybe her brothers had decided to team up against her, and had hurt her. I asked what was wrong.
Still crying, she tells me she just saw a commercial on TV showing all these poor children all over the world, who have nothing to eat, some don't even have any parents. She said it was so sad it made her cry.
I held back the tears. She asked me to call the number on TV so we could send them some money to help these kids. I told her we would, but I wanted to make sure these were good people who truly help the kids, so I would do some research and together we would pick who to send the money to.
I was touched. She is only 7. I wonder how many adults watched the same show, and flip to another channel so they wouldn't have to see what being poor in another country looks like. I wonder how many felt nothing when they see these commercials.
There are tons of different groups who help many different groups of people, here and abroad. Whether you want to help with literacy, hunger relief, support research efforts, the list is endless. I personally support a few that are close to my heart, maybe because someone in my family suffers from a particular disorder, or because I have witnessed first hand the work that group does.
My daughter has not forgotten about the promise I made or the children she saw on TV. She asked again last night when we are going to pick a group to send our money too. I am happy to see she understands and appreciates the blessings God has bestowed upon our family. Perhaps it is more than just the commercial on TV.
Part of the reason I wanted her to go to Panama was that I wanted her to see how other people lived. How I onced lived. I wanted her to see first hand what it meant to be poor, to struggle, and still to wake up every morning, thankful to see another day.
We didn't have to travel far during our trip to Panama to see poverty. We didn't even have to look for it, as my own family is poor. You could call us the working poor, I guess. They may not have all the luxuries my daughter has, they have their basic needs and their love for life remains intact.
I am proud to see that even at her young age, she is able to appreciate how fortunate she is. Even more so, I'm proud that she wants to reach out to those children who are suffering and help them out.
I'm now tasked with finding the right group to sponsor. I have many different ideas, perhaps I should just pick a family from Panama and send them the money directly, perhaps I should contact a group in Panama who does this type of work. I'm weighing all the possibilities.
In the meantime, I am thankful that my daughter has reminded me how fortunate I am, and how it is now my responsibility to give back to those who need my help.