Little :: Lot

Doing a little that means a lot: it’s a big part of our parenting.  We believe that change is within our reach.  Not just collectively as a society, as in Our reach, but also our reach, our little foursome of humans.

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We bake cookies each Christmas and sell them to Rainer’s co-workers.  Tiny, tangible actions we thought our kids could understand when they were little.  In less than 5 years we’ve raised about $2000 just by baking cookies.

little :: lot

Right now, I’m inspired by Robyn.  She’s got a great project going on: One Hundred Hats.  She’s knitting one hundred hats from one hundred different patterns in one year.  All for keeping children from the extremes of winter in some of the poorest places.  A small thing – stitch by stitch – but a big thing, too.  You can help her: she’s looking for yarn donations and she’s also looking for cash donations to go to Woolly Wonders to help them ship her hats to the kids that need them.  I clicked her ‘sponsor a hat’ button, and you can, too.

little :: lot

This fall, inspired by the Dare to Remember challenge, we’ll be hosting a Terrifying Tortes night of desserts the night before Halloween.  We’ll supply the great food and coffee and ask our guests to donate money to help the people in Africa turn the tide against AIDs.

little :: lot

A few months ago, listening to this podcast of a CBC radio interview with Peter Singer really solidified a few important things that had been vague instincts rumbling about in my brain.  Here’s a video interview with Singer.   In short, if you believe you’re ethical and compassionate are you saving the lives you can reach out and save right now?

It was powerful; it was simple:  You can save lives. Are you?

One of the things that struck me was his position on public giving.  Changing our culture by encouraging us to give and to give publicly.  Anyone who has witnessed the staggering success of the Yarn Harlot’s Knitters Without Borders knows the power of people giving and telling someone about it. We donate Doctors Without Borders and then we tell Stephanie about it so that she can keep a running total.  And the total is over half a million dollars and rising.

Let me publicly say that Rainer and I have taken the pledge at The Life You Can Save.  We have taken steps to give 1% of our income to save lives in extreme poverty.

little :: lot

stitch by stitch, cookie by cookie, pledge by pledge

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Peppermint Cookies

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9 thoughts on “Little :: Lot

  1. Heather says:

    This is incredibly powerful, thank you for sharing. Just sharing a little piece of ourselves can make such a huge difference. These are wonderful resources that you have shared, and I appreciate everything that you said.

  2. Kika says:

    We do believe in giving a percentage of our income each month… but want to continue decreasing our living “needs” that we may increasingly give – and give generously. I do think, too, it is important for us to consider the needs in our own families. That is easy for us as my husband’s family still lives in Africa, in poverty, so the needs are obvious. There is an incredible freedom that can result when we freely give – not because of “law” or guilt – but because we recognize that we have so much and have the ability to let that spill over into others’ lives. Even when I feel sorry for myself that I don’t have fancy stuff… I realize that my home is an actual palace compared to much of the world’s population. Thanks for bringing this up. I’ll check out the links you’ve provided and think about them.

  3. Kim says:

    What a great post, Sarah! I completely agree. That great quote by Margaret Mead applies, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” (I may have mis-punctuated there.)
    We give, in my family, and aim to show our children the value of giving. My daughter (almost 4) seems to really connect to giving through our monthly PLAN donations; it’s a child sponsorship organization. http://plancanada.ca/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=194 It’s one of the few that isn’t missionary; there is no religion in exchange for development unlike so many sponsorship programs. My daughter enjoys writing to and receiving letters from the child we’re linked with in Peru. She is beginning to understand that many people’s daily existence involves hunger and sadness.
    Like Kika, we’re committed to reducing our ‘needs’ in order to give me. We live in the third world and every time we leave our homes, we see evidence of the disparity of wealth on our planet.
    Thanks for this post, Sarah. I think I need to be more public about our giving. And I am motivated by your cookie-baking fundraiser to find new ways to involve my children in giving as well.

  4. GailV says:

    Hmmm, interesting about being more public in our giving. I tend to be very quiet about the things we do. Just now I started to list some things in this comment, but it sounded to me as though I was bragging and I deleted it all. Maybe I’ll take little steps with that.

  5. Kika says:

    It seems to me that the important idea is to be more open and honest about the NEED to give and offering ideas to those interested about all the tremendous giving opportunities out there rather than being specific about how much we give (which can feel like bragging, perhaps). Also, simply initiating conversation which challenges us all to consider needs vs. wants in our lives can be healthy as can the knowledge that sharing what (little/lot) we have can truly make a difference.

  6. robyn says:

    thanks so much for talking about my little project! it’s been amazing to see how, in such a short amount of time, so many people are coming together to make this glorious little thing a reality!

    thanks for supporting Warm Woolies and for mentioning the project.

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