While I waited nine months for each of my children to “arrive”, my niece had a much longer wait for her new daughter. As we followed the updates online, the new baby was always in our thoughts. And at the homeschooling convention we attended this spring, I came across a program that helped us do a little more.
The program is Rice Bowls, and it’s so easy. All you have to do is receive a “rice bowl”, a hollow plastic bowl of “rice” with a slit in the top. Then, as you come across extra change, drop it in the bowl. Once the bowl is filled, break it, count the change, and send a check or make a donation online to RiceBowls.org for that amount (one bowl holds about $30 in change). The money you send goes directly to the food budgets of the orphanages partnering with the program, which are located in Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, India, the Philippines, India, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, my new niece’s homeland.
And it really is so easy. The plastic bowls are free — all you have to do is contact the organization and tell them how many you need. You could order just one for your family, or you could order 10, 20, 50, or more so your church or co-op could participate. They also provide downloadable posters and promotional tools online.
And for the homeschooling family, the website offers lessons for elementary and middle school students. Under the tab marked “Resources”, you’ll find lessons in language arts, math, and history.
RiceBowls.org feeds around 1500 orphans, and they’ve created a way of helping them that anyone can do. Even small children can put change in the bowl, and older children have fun breaking it when it’s filled. And in the process, your family will be learning lessons in giving and compassion that will last a lifetime.