Monday, November 21, 2011

Tis the Season for Giving

Since September, when school started, we've been inundated with fundraising and school fees.  It's becoming overwhelming.  Of course they aren't 'mandatory', but we certainly don't want to stand out as the stingy family.  We've had:
  • PTA membership
  • PTA birthday book club
  • Jog-a-thon
  • Spirit wear
  • Class pictures x 2
  • Pumpkin carving with Daddy
  • Harvest Festival 
  • Spooky Bingo night
  • Book orders
  • Yearbook orders
Stock Images - Keeping Cash
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It's $25 here, $10 there, but it's becoming a drag.  I feel anxious being unemployed and not having my disposable income. And now that we're heading into the Christmas season, we're bombarded with messages of helping the needy and everyone is fundraising.  Don't get me wrong, I totally want to give and help in any way I can, but at some point I feel like I'm a charity case.  No, we're not in dire straights and need any help paying our mortgage or buying food/clothes/toys, but allow me the opportunity to vent for a second.

We sponsor a World Vision child in Armenia, I volunteer my time with a few local charities and I give to our church.  I don't feel like giving any more to be honest.  I'm fretting about my finances, joblessness, upcoming expenditures and juggling all the responsibilities of having three small children.  I don't feel like buying toys for underprivileged children when I don't even buy toys for my own kids.  I don't feel like buying clothes for underprivileged children when I have been shopping at the consignment shop or taking hand me downs from friends.

I do not want to take an extra trip to the grocery store to fill up a shoebox for Operation Christmas child when I don't even go to the store for my own family unless I absolutely have to.  Going to the store with this many children is a nightmare - like yesterday when we just popped into Ralph's to buy cat food, litter, toothpaste and vitamins and they chickadees were running around crazy and knocked down a glass bottle of medicine and it shattered.

My children are my ministry and charity and it takes up all my resources.  If there ever was a non-profit geared for people like me, they would have people volunteering to help stressed out moms out.  They would offer to play with them or take them to the park so we can job search or get some work done around the house. Or even to volunteer at their child's school. Or even, God forbid, to go out on dates with their husbands to maintain a relationship.  Moms like me need mental health breaks and don't want to pay a babysitter $12 an hour to get it.  That's a stress in itself.  I can't even volunteer my time in the community for most causes if I don't have someone to watch my kids.  Most people who never left their hometowns, have the luxury of family in town to help out. 

Another thing about charities - I feel that we have so many people in our own communities and nation that desperately need our attention.  I am concerned about impoverished people around the world too, but I think we definitely need to take care of our own first.

That is my two cents and what is weighing on my heart right now.

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