Train Up A Child Month Two: Running for Charity

Surprise, surprise — I’ve actually made it two months of sticking with the Train Up A Child Challenge!
Train Up A Child Challenge Month2
Long-time readers of this blog may remember that last year, our family participated in the Scramble for Ethiopia. Our family’s registration fees went towards helping build a well in Ethiopia, and we also used the opportunity to raise money for our adoption from generous friends who sponsored our 15K relay team by donating to AdoptTogether (we raised over $2,000 — thank you friends!). The event ended up being an extra special one for us because we received our referral for Baby Boy the day before the big race.We decided that — even though we despise running — participating in the Scramble for Ethiopia would be our way of celebrating: an end-of-the-summer goal, a way to give back and a way to commemorate the day we were matched with Baby Boy.This time around, I also wanted Yaya to understand a little bit more about participating in a race for charity, and be more actively involved in the process.You may have gathered from my confession in the initial Train Up a Child Post that chore charts are not my thing. So Yaya has never really gotten a regular allowance. Our chore/allowance system goes a little something like this:

“I’ll give you a quarter if you play with your brother while I shower?”

(I would give you more examples, but that’s all I’ve got.)

I decided I really wanted Yaya to earn the money for the children’s race so that she could take ownership of it. Since she can’t exactly go apply for a job, I made up yet another chore chart. You guys, I don’t know why I’ve been holding out on the whole chore chart thing because it has been AWESOME. One of Yaya’s chores was to fold the washcloths, but she insisted on folding THE ENTIRE LOAD OF LAUNDRY. So I got to be productive and clean the house while she folded. (NOT. I totally read my People magazine about Wills’ and Kate’s adorable prince.)

Anyhow, Yaya loves Ethiopia because it’s in Africa and some of her best good friends are from Ethiopia. When we talked about the need for clean water and how her $5 entry fee would be going (to Charity Water) to help build a well in Ethiopia, she was stoked. She proudly did her chores and gathered her earnings from her piggy bank when we went to register for the race yesterday.

Today was the race. If we learned anything from my Nordic debacle, it’s that speed is not my thing. In fact, as I worked on the Couch to 5K running program this summer, I actually LOST DISTANCE as I gradually worked up from walking to jogging. So rather than trying to jog four miles, we did half walk/half jog, this time with Baby Boy in front of us in his stroller.

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Prior to the Kid’s Run, they did some activities with the kids to help them understand the importance of clean water and feel the weight of the water the Ethiopian women carry for such long distances. Then the kids did their run:
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We followed up our race with a celebratory brunch to commemorate the day, one year ago, when we first saw Baby Boy’s sweet face.
referral
This whole chore/allowance thing also worked out so well that I’m going [to try] to keep it going. And not just because it gives me time to catch up with gossip mags instead of folding laundry — but because I think Yaya learned some good lessons about earning money and helping others with it. After reading this book, Yaya picked the Heifer International to be the next recipient of the portion of her allowance she sets aside for charity. She is also saving for a horse. (For the record, I’m totally cool with this since she won’t be able to afford one until she’s well out of the house.)How about you? Did you and your children do any service projects this month?
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