Monday, May 2, 2011

Kids’ make sense when given dollars

Some kids I met on Sunday confirmed a suspicion I’ve been harboring the past few years. I’ve been thinking/hoping the generation growing up in the recession will be good money handlers as adults.

I was involved in a workshop with about 25 preschoolers and elementary students, and I asked them, “If I gave you $5,000, what would you do with it?”

“My school is going to close, so I’d give it to them to keep it open,” said one girl. The school is closing because a new one is being built, but still, I wished decision-makers could’ve heard her

“I’d buy food for people who come to the church pantry,” said one young philanthropist, while another wanted to build a house for a homeless family.

When the kids’ answers were presented to their parents, “save it for college” evoked universal smiles and several sighs of relief.

I was a good saver when I was a kid, always found enough money to buy gifts for my family. But I don’t remember thinking about people being hungry or homeless, and I didn’t start a college fund until my children were born. I’m sure I never thought about trying to bail out my school district, which had to shut down for six weeks because voters rejected a tax levy.

Maybe, just maybe, building better savers and sharers is the silver lining of the downturned economy’s cloud.

How would you use $5,000?


  1. Wow, what great ideas! As I read this aloud, Sophie's answer was "put in a college fund", prompting the "universal smile and sigh of relief" from Matt and me :)

    It makes me wonder -- kids seem to have a more global view of life and community than we did growing up. Is it because of where we live (not that we're affluent, but HC is affluent)? When Kevin was in elementary school, he went to his first birthday party that took up a collection for a shelter, rather than gifts for the birthday girl. In March, we went to our neighbor's 2-year-old's birthday party, which was a fundraiser for the Ham Co Humane Society (although, we still brought Cooper a basketball!).

  2. I agree about kids -- at least some -- having a more global view of life and community than we had as kids. Look at what Alex's Lemonade stands are doing across the country and all the community fundraising that schools do. When I was in elementary school, we had a United Way campaign and the opportunity to buy paper poppies before Memorial Day from the American Legion Auxiliary. Our generation may have its faults, but we're dong some things right.

  3. Great post Ros!

    I'd use the money to go on a mission trip and take my step-son along with me.