Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them.
Why should charity begin at home?
Because involving family in the act of giving, sharing your concerns for others with loved ones and friends, helps develop their entropy muscles and makes charity more personal. It's pretty easy to toss money in a tin cup and walk away feeling uplifted because you "gave at the office."
What's hard is adopting a charitable outlook.
Some of my most vivid childhood memories revolve around giving. My mother told me all about the starving kids in China over and over. I never fully understood why that meant I needed to finish everything on my plate. Wouldn't it be more sensible to put that food in a box and ship it to those kids?
I was logical, even at an early age.
That logic evolved. Once I got older I found CARE (http://www.care.org/), an organization that feeds the hungry and works to empower women and girls around the world. Even as a child that last part was extra important to me. We girls needed to help each other.
http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/) and I made a sizeable donation to Comic relief and Red Nose Day (
http://rednoseday.org/) last month. But I also like doing things that require a personal touch form me, the giver. Charity isn't always about dollars and cents.
A few years ago when I judged the Chicago Public Schools Science Fair (I've been a judge for 30 years now, and I have a plaque to show for it) I decided to give as well. I contacted the fair and set up a special award, the B A Binns award. I didn't want to call it charity. It was listed as an award for a project for a college bound senior. I know exactly how expensive college is, and that many times a little extra money can work wonders for a kid on scholarship or one whose parents have to struggle to send them. The best part, I got to review the students' exhibits myself and was able to pick the experiment that resonated with me. Then I got to hand over the check.
Actually, that wasn't the best part. The real shining moment came a few weeks later when I received a letter from the student winner. The future scientist thanked me, telling me just how much that extra money meant to her college hopes.
You know, I think I will offer another award next year.
Charity isn't just about giving money. Acts are just as important, often more so. And when I can involve my family as well, bonus points. Because children care too.
https://www.crophungerwalk.org/) to raise money, donations for, and awareness of the homeless in our supposedly affluent community.
Some of my neighbors who have never experienced poverty don't even them. Many would like to pretend they don't exist, or believe that throwing a few dollars their way is enough. Giving money is one thing. Giving time, letting people see that you care enough to roll up your sleeves and try to help, brings things to a whole new level for both the giver and the receiver.
Whether you have money, or time, or just a desire to help, there are a zillion ways we can do something for others, and in so doing
- add fulfillment to our own lives
- strengthen the bonds of family and friendship