The Two Buckets - Bringing Tangibility Back to Giving

The church was located in a small room above the local sushi restaurant. We had never been there before. It was just a few minutes’ drive from our house, and honestly, we could have easily walked. But we were running late and had adapted to our new American lifestyle.

Inside, it was pitch dark, the space illuminated only by bright lights focused on the small platform where the music band played. Thankfully, we received help in finding some free seats in this small church, where maybe about thirty people were present. During the announcements, a call was made for more volunteers for the children’s ministry, and for a moment, I felt like I was back in my home church. When the collection was announced, a teenage son and his father stepped forward, each holding a metal bucket. The bright lights reflected off the small buckets, as if they needed to assert their place in the church service. After referring people to the website for those who didn’t have cash or a check, they proceeded through the aisles.

With a half-hearted gesture, the teenager went down the rows with his bucket, as if he also knew nothing would end up in it. It lasted no more than half a minute, and it felt uncomfortable and bleak. A sense of connection was far from evident.

How different were the images I saw a few weeks ago. Children gathered around the collection box with a Givt coin in hand. A moment of enthusiastic connection, of giving together. Whether you gave $10 or maybe nothing at all, there was no difference to be seen. All children gave together. 

This church had just adopted Givt4Kids and introduced it for the first time with one of their children’s groups. Each child received a Givt coin, where they could allocate money, together with their parents via the Givt4Kids app. When the collection moment came, they rushed forward one by one to drop their Givt coin into the collection box. Finally, giving was tangible and visible again, something that unites.

At the exit of the church above the sushi restaurant stood a shopping cart, empty except for a bag of Easter eggs. The churchgoers were tasked with filling it in the coming weeks with 1000 pounds of candy, so their annual Easter Hunt could be a success again. Our daughter had already eagerly asked if we could participate. 

While I was confronted by the empty shopping cart, facing the enormous challenge ahead for this church, our daughter saw in that one bag the promise of a great celebration, and her eyes widened at the thought of the enormous pile of candy. 

She announced that she would donate her leftover Valentine’s candy. And while it may not have been a big deal for her to give away her candy, as she didn’t particularly like it, for me, it was once again an eye-opener of how important it is for children to be able to give tangibly and visibly. With the promise of something greater, the celebration that unites.

How do you make giving tangible?


As 'founder family' we are chasing opportunities

Why Tulsa

“Why Tulsa?” The gym teacher at our daughter’s new school gives us a strange look and questions our sanity for exchanging the beautiful Netherlands for Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Read more»