Thus starts our journey. As a parent watching the devastation that is unfolding in Japan, I can’t help but feel lucky and blessed that my child is safe and sound. My daughter is about to turn seven. She was born after 9/11, only a year old when Katrina hit New Orleans, and even last year I thought her too young to really allow her to grasp the concept of the earthquake in Haiti.
But next month she will be seven, and I will not be able to shield her much longer from the realities of life. My thoughts turned to how I can frame this for her, what lessons I can bring to the table. My daughter is a Girl Scout, a second year Daisy soon to bridge to Brownie. A big part of Girl Scouts is community service, along with the parts of the Girl Scout Law – “Considerate and Caring”, “Friendly and Helpful”, and “Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout”.
I talked to Elisabeth, showed her the videos of the damage in Japan, explained that so many were without homes and their toys. She asked if they didn’t have homes, where do they go to the bathroom? After a giggle escaped my lips at the absurdity of the question, I sobered and honestly told her, honey – that’s the point.
I put the bag of pennies I brought home in front of her (I had a coffee cup-ful sitting at work). I asked if she would like to try to collect pennies to raise money to send to the Girl Scouts in Japan so they can help their communities. I could have easily picked Red Cross or another organization, but I wanted her to see that she was helping other girls like herself.
She agreed she would like to help, and even offered up her own precious hoard of pennies she’s had since she was 3-years old – the collection being 3 times the size of my own coffee cup collection.
So we spent the evening before bedtime counting and piling pennies by tens – one thousand, three hundred and twenty-three to be exact.
Since every undertaking should have a time limit and goal, we decided to see if we can collect 1 million pennies by her birthday in April, giving us a month and a half. A million pennies is a lot, I admit, $10,000 total – but the number seems fun, and will keep us trying to come up with new ideas to find the pennies.
I’ve created this blog to record our experiment, share with others, and to bring awareness to our cause. I hope you follow us and even give my daughter some encouragement along the way, I know she would love to read any positive messages left for her. Off and on I will have her post her own thoughts – to be coded in a different color.
Here is a link to a message from the Girl Scouts of Japan and their request for monentary donations at this point in time. WAGGS is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, of which both Japan and the US are a part of.