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."
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?