Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gratituesday - Joy of Giving

Last week my friend, Kim, sent an e-mail to a homeschool list I'm on, talking about a wonderful woman in Hati who is doing all she can for orphans and young mothers there. My friend is pulling together a box of needed items and Christmas gifts to send down there. So I told the girls about it yesterday during our morning worship and suggested that each of the girls could put together a Christmas bag for a child about their age and I would do one for one of the young mothers and I'd drop them by Kim's house when we're near her house this weekend. One of the things mentioned in the e-mail that really made an impression on L is that some of the children in Hati are so hungry that they eat mud cakes to quiet their stomaches. Needless to say, my children couldn't fathom being that hungry and not being able to go get food. L got very into the project right away, getting money from her piggy bank and candy from her Halloween candy bag and reminding me numerous times during the day yesterday that I'd promised to take them to the store to get toys and such for the gift bags. A, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with it. Even when we got to the store she wanted nothing to do with it, "I don't know these kids, they don't know me, why should I help them?" I decided the best approach was to encourage L's excitement about the project and essentially ignore A's bad attitude. And apparently that was the right approach. As we went down the toiletries aisle L excitedly chose toothpaste, toothbrush (JUST LIKE MINE! I'm sure the kids will LOVE it too!) and a comb & mirror set. And I just added the same items for A's gift bag, and told her if she didn't want to do a gift, I'd do one for a child AND a mommy. When we got to the toy section she did a total & instant turn around! I told them they could each choose 5 small things for their child. A was just as excited as L about choosing things and if anything thought things through better. She chose a stuffed animal (so they have something to sleep with) AND a small fuzzy pillow (becuase some kids might not have pillows) as well as other items. And she's been great throughout the rest of the process (sorting out our purchases (and items we already had) into bags for each person today and such. She also asked me this morning, as we were putting the bags together if we could do this every year and declared that she wants to be a missionary when she grows up and travel to lots of places and help ALL the children. Awww. L, decided she also wants to be a missionary but "just in our state, and maybe as far as Mama and Papa's house" she doesn't want to travel too far from home LOL. I've been so thrilled watching my children learn the joy of giving and being excited about helping others and I'm thankful they are learning this.

Of course the flip side, when dh told the girls that his office is having a Christmas Party this Thursday and before we go to eat, we'll be stopping by a hospital to sing Christmas songs and pass out toys to the children there. L's reaction was "those kids don't need toys as much as the kids on the island!" (her description of Hati) LOL. I talked to them some more today about some of the kids in the hospital, their parents don't have the money for toys because they have to pay for medicine and doctors, and I think they decided it was an acceptible charity. So hopefully when we get there Thurs night they won't "lecture" dh's boss about how these toys should have been sent to Hati instead LOL.

I think we'll build on their newfound interest in 3rd world children and look into sponsoring a child. If anyone has any experience with the various organizations that do sponsor a child programs I'd love to hear your opinions (good and bad). You can leave a comment or e-mail me (my e-mail link is in my profile). I know I for sure want an organization that assigns a specific child and encourages letters/pictures sent both directions, since I think the girls will benefit from seeing WHO they are helping.

And finally, if you would like to send a donation or much needed supplies (the e-mail Kim sent out quotes Barbara (the missionary running this facility) as saying "we need everything BUT stones and babies, we have plenty of both". Specific things that are needed include liquid infant vitamins, prenatal vitamins (both can be purchased from walmart for less than $10/bottle), liquid formula (water supplies in many parts of Hati are tainted so liquid formula is a better option than powder), and this time of year, Christmas boxes for the children and mothers.

Checks can be made out to "Reach Out to Haiti"

Checks and other items can be sent to:

Barbara Walker
PO Box 2556
Port Au Prince, Haiti

(no postal code is needed).

If you live in the Hagerstown, MD area and want to include things in the box Kim's sending e-mail me & I can put you in contact with her.

See other Gratituesday posts here.

1 comment:

Janel said...

Nathan and I sponsored a child from Mission of Mercy for several years before we left the USA. He lived in India and we regularly wrote letters back and forth. He was learning English in school, so we just wrote letters in simple English and he responded in English, but they would translate the letters for children who didn't speak/read English. They sent us a new photo of him each year and a copy of his school report card. We really enjoyed the experience and were sorry we had to give it up when we left.