Here's something that's been trending for several years now in this project: we don't get as much as we did in the early years when we were over $10,000 on a couple of occasions, even breaking $12,00 once. There were some advantages we had back then. One is that it was brand new and more exciting- now the kids know we are always going to be doing this work every spring. Another plus was that many families turned in large piggy banks with years' worth of pennies/nickels/dimes/quarters gathering dust but those became rarer and rarer as their kids ascended the grade ladder. I've tried to figure out ways to maximize our efforts and by all measures, we do a better job than we did at first, just without the numbers to back it up. But I think I'm starting to get a little smarter due to several interviews I've heard on the radio on the topic of our becoming a cashless society. What I now think is that with the astronomical growth of debit and credit cards, there simply is not as much change as there was in the past. I should have clued in as I seem to be the increasingly isolated customer at the store who pays with cash and is rewarded with metal currency for the difference. Maybe we are getting just as high a percentage of the change available in our school. Maybe there's just a smaller supply to draw from.
The go-to story on giving in the Bible is always the widow who put two small copper coins in the temple treasury as related in both Mark 12 and Luke 21. Jesus remarked the anonymous woman gave out of her poverty in contrast to the other worshipers who contributed from their wealth. He relates how she gave all she had to live on. That's the one thing I don't like about online giving. (Disclaimer: I am in the mental deliberations to add it as my bank is now starting to charge me for checks!) You lose the visual giving example for little ones. I always saw folks putting in money in the collection plate as a child and it has stuck with me. We were required to put part of our allowance in the weekly contribution and believe me, it was never green and paper. But the economy has changed, pardon the pun, and I have yet to figure out how to deal with it in this aspect of my work. It's still worth it- children in need are being helped- but the human prideful side of me feels less adequate. Maybe that's the point of what Jesus was saying, though. It's not the amount- it's the intent. Our kids no doubt have that intent. Not one of them ever asks our grand total. That's the question the grownups ask. As usual the little ones are closer to the truth. Penny for your thoughts?
Applicable quote of the day:
If for some reason you are unsure where to go, all you have to do is stand there looking lost, and within seconds a helpful New Yorker will approach to see if you have any "spare" change.