When Isabelle was in preschool, we began dedicating the fifth night of Chanukah to charitable giving. It felt like a no brainer to me since I’m not a present-each-night kind of mom. For the past six Chanukahs (including this one), Isabelle has emptied her tzedakah box and picks an organization for her donation. In the past, she’s donated to organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society, Children’s Miracle Network, and the Pajama Program (which Slicers may recognize as TWT’s SOLSC charity of choice!). This year, she selected to donate her tzedakah money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital “to help kids with cancer.”
This year, Ari joined the fifth night donation for the first time. Over breakfast, I explained this Chanukah tradition to Ari. I asked him, “Do you want to help feed kids who are hungry?” He said yes. I asked him, “Do you want to buy books for kids who don’t have books in their homes?” He said yes. I asked him, “Do you want to help kids who are sick?” He said yes. I asked him several more questions and every answer was yes. But, finally, I got a different answer when I asked, “Do you want to help animals who may have been hurt or not cared for and are trying to get better?” His face lit up and he gave me a big YES!
I suggested Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, which is a local organization that cares for animals who have been abused and neglected, to him. I showed Ari some photos and a video on their website. Once he saw that some of Lancaster Farm Sanctuary’s residents are goats, he declared, “That’s where I want to give my money!”
This evening, Ari came into my office to make the donation. (He handed over the cash to me and I put it on my credit card.) When I filled out the donation form, I wrote:
Ari (my four-year-old son) is donating some of his saved Tzedakah money instead of getting a Chanukah present tonight. He loves animals, especially goats. We hope to come visit after COVID!
Less than two hours later, I received an email back from one of the women who runs the sanctuary, which said:
Please tell Ari we are so grateful that he chose to support our farm sanctuary. We hope after COVID you and Ari are able to come and visit us at the farm to see all of our residents, especially the goats 🙂
And do you want to know what else was included in the email? PHOTOS OF SOME OF THEIR GOATS! Ari will be thrilled when I show him the email and the goats’ photos in the morning.
Quite frankly, I’m touched the folks who run Lancaster Farm Sanctuary took the time to write back — and send photos of the goats — after receiving what amounted to a small donation. That kind of personal touch will have us donating again in the future.