This past Saturday our son Jesse celebrated his 6th birthday. The party was held at an East-End Karate centre, which allowed him to invite many (15!) friends to join him. Since Jesse’s birthday falls so close to a certain holiday marked with excesses and indulgences, we decided as a family to put the breaks on more presents. We wanted the day to be fun and celebratory, but also thought it could be a great teachable-moment for a young boy to practice empathy and selflessness.
As I personally hold the Alma Foundation near and dear to my heart, Jesse has had many years of stories about the trials faced by the Peruvian families that Alma supports. He understands the basic principles of why we help others (we have all that we need and other children don’t always). But it was the act of taking it a step further: giving to others in lieu of receiving ‘more’ for ourselves. This was the intended objective.
We’re proud to say that Jesse had a smile on his face through the whole process. We notified guests on the invitation that Jesse would be collecting small donations towards Alma, and he stood beside the collection box as guests arrived telling them how Alma helps kids in Peru.
We’re certainly not the first or last family to go through this exercise for a birthday party, but in our little part of the world, it was a step in the right direction.
By Rebecca Sproat, Alma Supporter and Volunteer