Monday, August 8, 2011

Have Mercy

About a month or two ago I decided to flex my creativity muscle (it's a small one that doesn't get out much) and wanted to figure out a good solution for Eileigh's piggy bank. Up to this point she had gleefully been dropping all of our spare change into an adorable piggy bank from Great-Grandma Mary. Problem was, it was almost full. Sure, we could deposit the money into the college savings fund and start over again but I've realized that Eileigh is ready for a little more training in money-handling. And I'm not just referring to not putting pennies in her mouth or washing her hands after touching any amount of loose change. More along the lines of Giving, Saving and Spending. I remember from somewhere that the best banks for kids are ones that they can see through and literally watch their money grow (or disappear). I had two more requirements: I did not want to spend money to buy something for this purpose and I wanted it to not be hideously ugly. This third requirement meant I could not use various plastic jars with lids I scrounged up around the house. Enter: the Mason jar. An all-purpose item that lends itself to simplicity and beauty all in one. So, in keeping with the plan, I scrounged up three pint-sized jars from my stash. I also grabbed lids and three different colored rings. Since I didn't want Eileigh to have to unscrew the lid and ring every time (and because it's way more fun to actually drop the coins through the slot) I had to figure out how to get a coin-sized slot into the lid of the jar. My first thought was to wait until Mike got home. My second thought was, nah, let's see what I can rustle up for tools to do the job. Fortuitously, Mike had just received some passed-on tools that were still sitting out and a small chisel caught my eye. At least I think that's what it was... beveled on one side... tap on the top of the handle with a hammer. That's how I used it anyway. It was the perfect size to make the perfect quarter-sized space in the lid. (I put the lid on the jar securely with the ring and then two quick taps made for the ideal slot). Only one side of the newly-minted hole was sharp and even though I figured there was minimal risk I carefully applied a small amount of high-class duct tape to the sharp edge to protect little fingers. My creativity muscle was exhausted by then so I just Sharpie'd the tops with Give, Save and Spend. Eileigh and I went upstairs and I explained what each jar was for. She then joyfully started to redistribute the wealth of her piggy bank amongst the three jars, calling out in a sing-song voice, "Some to give for others, some to save for later, and money for Eileigh to buy." So far she's loaded up her little pink purse twice and hit up the Dollar Tree for a jump rope and Walmart for some stick-on earrings. Today, in keeping with the theme of Mercy (see my prior blog post on praying for our kids here) I decided to do something a little different in regards to giving. We've been talking a lot about giving to other people who don't have money or food or clothing. Samaritan's Purse is an incredible organization and they have a Gift Catalog that you can browse and choose different areas to give. This morning as I read through some of the different options,  Eileigh sat on my lap and was able to see pictures of babies and children that are blessed and helped by the ministry. She was quite excited as she chose to help feed a hungry baby and nursing mom for a week, some baby chicks for a family, and a couple weeks' worth of milk and hot meals for children. She unzipped her purse and started to get her money out as I tried to explain the whole 'nother realm of debit cards... and decided to save that for another day. She seemed content to just hold my debit card while I clicked away. Gotta start 'em young, right? Have mercy!! :)


Carrie said...

What a fabulous idea!

And I especially loved the stick-on forgot about those! I guess with 3 boys it never came up. :-)

Can't wait to see sweet Eileigh and Selah in a few days!

Mindi said...

Adorable post. Eileigh has such a beautiful heart, and you are such a great teacher for her! Your girls are so very lucky! And Selah will be quite lucky too, if she can't get her hands on those banks :)