For all of the wonderful moments we had this weekend, and there were a lot, the best had to be my daughter and her piggy bank.

This was our first Walk to Cure Diabetes, the big fundraiser for JDRF. We decided to be part of another team instead of forming our own, so we signed on with the McFeeley Marchers and set a modest fundraising goal. I basically just hit up close friends and family.

How do you explain raising money for this kind of cause to a five year old? We told Lea that we’d give the money to the doctors so they could try to cure diabetes, so Benny won’t need shots anymore. Or maybe they could find a medicine that would mean no more shots and finger pricks.

After that conversation, Lea went right to her room and got her piggy bank. Actually, it’s her tzedakah box. Tzedakah is Hebrew for charity. (that’s a transliteration – I don’t know how to blog in Hebrew letters). A tzedakah box is usually the first project kids complete in Jewish religious school. Lea’s is a tennis ball can covered over in purple tissue paper and decorated with Jewish stars, glitter and stickers. She’s been filling it with loose change she’s earned for little chores and extras. Plus, I think Grandpa pads it when he comes to visit.

The night before the walk we dumped it out and counted it. Quarters, pennies, nickels, Canadian coins(?) and a twenty dollar bill (thanks, Grandpa!). Forty four dollars and twenty two cents. We were pretty surprised and excited.

Slade gave Lea a dollar, to start a new collection for something else, maybe a toy or something for herself. She said, “No way!” and stuck it in the Tzedaka box. New total: $45.22.

At walk registration on Saturday, Lea was bursting to hand it all over. The wonderful woman who checked us in completely understood how much this all meant to us. She had Lea write her name on the envelope and then we poured all the money in. Lea kept her box to fill up for next year.

Quick note on the walk itself.. we brought our wagon, figured we’d schlep the kids for about a mile or so. I didn’t realize the walk route goes right into Carowinds! As soon as Lea & Benny saw the park, I knew we were done. We spent the morning going on the rides and goofing around at the Nick Jr section, then met back up with the walkers for lunch.

I still can’t get over how many people were there – six thousand! – and how much was going on. You can read more in a great article published in the Charlotte Observer.

We left totally exhausted and very happy.

If you missed the JDRF walk and you’d still like to help, you can this weekend. Keith Larson’s Ride for the Kids is Saturday, April 28th. Click here for more information and how to sign up. Even if you don’t own a motorcycle you can come out and join us. My family will be there for after the ride, for the food and the music. Hope to see you there!