Teaching generosity comes easy to the Smith family of Charlotte, North Carolina. This holiday season, the family of five is working together to make another family’s Christmas more Merry. The family has created their own charity, “Seed Bead Santa.”
“We are making safety pin, seed bead bracelets and donating all of the proceeds to a family in need,” said mom, Jen Smith.
Making the safety pin, bead bracelets is a family affair. Dad, Kyle, and 8-year-old Kate enjoy putting the beads on the pins. Olivia, 6-years-old, likes to lace the safety pins on elastic. Jen takes the orders and ships the packages. Elowen, 3-years-old, even has her role.
“She likes to play with the beads,” Jen said, with a laugh.
Jen and Kyle are using the charity to teach their children about giving back. Both explained how this concept is reinforced through Seed Bead Santa.
“Generosity is part of our Smith Family Mission Statement,” Kyle said. He continued to explain that the family Mission Statement was created when he was tired of simply asking his daughters, “What did you do today?” at dinner. Thus, he wrote down values that were important to him and ran it by his wife. They agreed it would become the Family Mission Statement.
The Mission Statement includes values of “We believe in craftsmanship and quality,” “We value joyfulness”, and “We do things properly.” Perhaps, most fitting, the Smith Family Mission Statement declares, “We give of our time to those less fortunate.”
Kyle said you can teach kids to give part of their allowance or you can teach to give of their time.
“We wanted to show our children that giving of your time is as important, sometimes more important, than giving of your money,” Kyle said.
Jen agreed, “We live in an instant gratification society. We thought it was important to teach the kids that giving is more important than receiving.”
The Smith family has sold enough bracelets this season to provide a family in need with gifts. The Smiths have chosen a family of an honorably discharged veteran who has 4 sons and a wife. So far, the family has sold enough bracelets to give each child one gift. If more bracelets are sold, the Smiths can provide more gifts to the family in need.
The bracelets sell for $8.95 plus $2.95 for shipping. Customers can choose the bead colors, buy a predetermined design or have a bracelet custom made. If you are unsure what you want, Kate has a suggestion.
“For a girl, I would make a bracelet with light purple, light pink and light blue beads,” she said. “For a boy, I would use black beads, dark pink, because some boys like dark pink, and dark blue beads.“
The lesson of giving back seems to ringing true with Kate.
“I am very excited to pick out gifts for the other kids,” she said.
The family plans to continue Seed Bead Santa next year and will sell bracelets throughout the year to raise more funds. For more information, to make a purchase or to nominate a family in need, please contact Jen here.
As an added bonus, if you make a purchase, you are likely to get a customized thank you note from Kate or Olivia.
“They really seem to embrace the lesson of giving back,” Jen said.
© Let’s Talk Kids, 2014