Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hope for the Future

Last year, when considering the massive amounts of toys, games, movies and computer games he already had, a relative of mine and her son decided to ask guests not to bring gifts to his birthday party.  Instead, her son picked out a charity, The Smile Train, and asked guests to make a donation to children in need instead.  I thought this was a wonderful idea, and thanks to my relatives, some child received an operation to repair a cleft palate.

In lieu of presents at her 12th birthday party this year, Maddie Freed of Potomac asked her friends to bring money, and she raised $800 for Children's Hospital.

Eight-year-old Jenny Hoekman saves a third of what she makes walking dogs, and this month the Takoma Park girl donated it to help her Brownie troop sponsor an immigrant family.

And in Club Penguin, a popular online game club for the elementary school set, more than 2.5 million kids gave their virtual earnings to charities in a contest this month. In response, the site's founders are giving $1 million to charities based on the children's preferences.

I really admire those who are able to give to charity.  Sometimes, it's easy to see the greed and materialism that rule our society, but I will always delight in finding those who want to help others, in whatever way they are able.  

For the holidays, my good friend Matt sent me a gift of funds to put towards a charity of my choice.  I'd have to say that gift ranks at the top of what I received this year.  Thanks, Matt. 

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