Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Mighty Mite Box

When I was reading the History of the Alliance of New Church Women given to me by Katie Brown, nee Shelley, I learned of the long-standing tradition of the mite box within this organization. I was curious about the history of the mite box in general so I turned to (where else?) Wikipedia, of course! Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the mite box:

"The term mite box (also alms box or poor box) refers to a box that is used to save coins for charitable purposes. Contemporary mite boxes are usually made of cardboard and given out to church congregations during the Lenten season. The mite boxes are collected by the church and donations are given to the poor. Mite boxes are popular with children because they can fill them with small change and it teaches them the principle of giving to the poor. The Mite box giving promotes the spirit of contributing based on the intent to help others and not on the monetary amount.

The term mite, according to the dictionary, is defined as one of the following:

  • 1. a very small contribution or amount of money, such as a widow's mite.
  • 2. a very small object, creature, or particle.
  • 3. a coin of very small value, especially an obsolete British coin worth half a farthing."
So that gave me an idea... what if I used something that I already have in my house as a mite box! I looked around and saw my little "piggy" bank sitting on my dresser. It's full right now but I'll find something to empty it into and start over. How many of you have a coin purse that is bursting with coins that you never use? I'm guilty of that. As of today, I'll start emptying my change purse into Ms. Piggy and when it comes time to make a donation to the Alliance Mite box I'm planning to count my change (and hopefully it'll be a lot!) and write a check. I'll probably round up to the nearest $5. If we all did that we could make a substantial contribution to the Mite box this year. At Convention this summer in Bridgewater, MA we collected over $800 towards the 2009 Mite box! As I've mentioned before, the money we collect this year will go to the newest Swedenborgian Church in New Mexico where Rev. Dr. Sky Paradise is the pastor. Click on the link to find out what's happening in New Mexico. In the October Messenger I read that 17 new members joined the church! That's remarkable!

Stealing a line from one of my favorite blogs, The Librarian's Guide to Etiquette,
Ask the readers: Do you have a Mite box of your own?