One of the strange realities of the experience of First Holy Communion is the fact that relatives and friends shower the First Communicant with gifts of cash. While it is done with the best of intentions, it is simply a strange notion to give someone money for receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. The unintended result of this gesture is that the child is encouraged to think of what he or she can buy with this new-found stash of cash. First Communion is not the best time to encourage a child to think of him- or herself!
Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to introduce children to the concept of stewardship: the sharing of our time, talent, and treasure. Parents can tell their children that for First Communion, they will be receiving gifts of cash and that this will present an opportunity for the child to share a percentage with those in need. Parents can then sit down with their child and research/explore options for sending a donation to care for those in need, beginning with those affected by current events, such as the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. With the help of their parents, children can identify agencies that provide support for those in need, such as Catholic Relief Services, Red Cross, Missionary Childhood Association, and so on, and then send a donation along with a commitment to pray for those they are sending help to.
Children can enjoy a sense of excitement that they are being blessed with abundance and that they can share that abundance with others.
What are some other ways First Communicants can be encouraged to share a portion of their monetary gifts with others?