Tales of a Fourth-Grade Philanthropist

I think back to myself in fourth grade . . .

If you had asked me to identify the Philippines on a map, I would not have known where to point–not even remotely.  And if you had told me when I was nine years old that there was a terrible storm in this part of the world and people were suffering, I might have felt sad; but then, pretty quickly, I would have recovered, poured myself a bowl of cereal, and plopped down in front of the television with my Barbies or, possibly, a book.

I certainly wouldn’t have envisioned there was anything I could do.

IMG_3914And there is the first difference between my nine-year-old self and this amazing nine-year-old boy I get to call my son.

When we talked recently about the devastation in the Philippines, Oscar felt what he felt–what all of us felt and feel.  He was horrified and broken-hearted.  But not long after these emotions took up residence in his consciousness, he switched gears and asked what the people there needed and what he could do to help.

We discussed how when people are in need of common necessities–food, clean water, shelter, medicine–the very best we can do is to raise money for organizations that help to get these provisions to the people who need them.

Oscar approached his teacher about running a fundraiser at his school.  She told him to craft a letter to the building principal, which he did on Tuesday.  He had the day off from school for Parent/Teacher conferences and spent time during that day putting his letter together.  We forwarded the letter, and Oscar received a very enthusiastic YES.

Since then he has been busy organizing a bake sale and putting together a flyer, a Facebook event, and a Red Cross Fundraising Page.

I asked Oscar about his fundraising goal.  He said at first $500, then upped it to $1,000.  But then he whispered, “My real goal is $10,000 because the people in the Philippines are suffering and really need the money.”

They do indeed.  And the world needs more people like Oscar, people who understand that though we can’t always prevent human suffering, we can always do something about it.

He is my role model and reminds me of all that is good in the world.

How I ever got so lucky I will never know.

[If you would like to donate to Oscar’s fundraiser, here is the link:  http://www.crowdrise.com/OscarsBakeSale .  Thank you so much!]

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