all i want for Christmas…

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

November 15, 2010

My seven (and a half) year old son picked up the gift catalog from Heifer International and asked me what it was for. So I explained to him that people like us could buy things that people in very poor places need as a Christmas gift. And because they don’t have much, then buying a goat, a chicken, or a cow would help them more than games or toys.

It was an amazing conversation that resulted in both of us wanting to do something for somebody else this year for Christmas.

Deciding what to do wasn’t difficult either. We’ve both been praying for Haiti since the earthquakes, and he’s specifically prayed for the orphans there. I even made a trip there this summer, and lived in an orphanage during my stay.

So I told him about a friend that I recently made at The Idea Camp conference. Chris Marlow runs an organization called HELP (Help End Local Poverty) and an initiative called Garage Sale for Orphans.

One of the current Garage Sale projects is to build a playground for orphans in Haiti. The website describes it this way:

Extreme poverty not only robs children of food, education and proper medical care, but it often keeps kids from just being kids. We want to help meet more than just their basic needs. We want to see them HAVE FUN and just play and be kids!!!

So we’re taking this project on for Christmas this year, and we wanted to invite others to join us. We live in Florida, so it’s reasonable for us to hold an actual garage sale this time of year. But there are many other ways that you can help raise money so that we can meet the goal of $3,500 to give this playground to some Haitian kids for Christmas.

I’ll be sharing about this project over the coming weeks both here and at Christmas Change (I’ll be a guest blogger there this year). And I’d love to offer a couple of guest post posts to anyone crazy enough to take this project on with Samuel and I (no matter where you live).

Here are the posts that I plan on sharing…

Here are some posts that others are writing about this…

If you want to join or support our efforts, then let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to work with you in any way that I can if it means that we can meet the goal of giving this gift to some Haitian kids. You can host your own fundraiser, or even just make an individual donation.

Christmas 2011 Update: So far my son’s efforts have raised $1,365 towards this project. And this year for Christmas H.E.L.P. is running an initiative to complete this playground project. Let me know if you want to help give these kids the gift of play for Christmas this year. I’d love to help share your story.


It’s great to see kids able to just be kids. This gift will impact the lives of many children in Haiti


  1. Laraj

    What a wonderful way to teach your son about the true spirit of Christmas. I’ll be coming back to make a donation (in a hurry right now!) for sure. You are awesome, Dude.

    • @bibledude

      I’m really glad that my son has such a big heart for other kids that don’t have what he has. I pray that this project gets everything that it deserves! The kids in Haiti could really use something like this!

      Thanks for being so supportive! Feel free to share this series of posts with others who might be interested in in helping! You rock Laura!

  2. Seiji Yamashita

    This is so awesome! PLEASE throw a guest post my way. I will def be trying to org a fundraiser for this.

    • @bibledude

      supporting this playground in #haiti project can be as easy as putting a collection jar out during a small group or Christmas party. it doesn’t have to be tied to a garage sale (like I’m doing). Let me know if you want to talk out some ideas on how you can contribute…

      And whatever you do, make sure that you get a couple of photos too, and you’re ‘in’ for the guest post! I can wait to hear more about what you’ll be doing!

      Thanks Seiji! You rock dude!

  3. Tim

    Heifer International is a very instructive and fun way to introduce your children to giving. The kids get to actually pick out which animals to “purchase”. Excellent organization! I speak about educating kids on my site

    • @bibledude

      There are lots of great ways to introduce children to giving, but I think that the best way is to truly listen to them and support them when they have crazy ideas like having a garage sale for orphans in Haiti!

      But you’re absolutely right! I love the gift catalogs… they really are a cool (and easy) way to get kids active in stuff like that!

      I’ll check out your blog! Thanks for the reference!

  4. Kristen B Marble

    What a great thing to do! My 10 yo daughter is also working to raise money to build 5 houses in Haiti, and that was her Christmas wish this year ( So far she’s up to $4000 which is almost enough for 2 houses and actually had an article in a state newspaper today ( It’s great to see kids get involved at such young ages!

    • @bibledude

      This project (the playground for orphans in Haiti) costs about $3500, and my son has helped raise $850 so far with the garage sale that we did. There’s still a ways to go, but it was REALLY cool for him to be able to do that!

      I love what your daughter has done! There’s nothing as special as the pure heart of a child!

  5. September Adkins

    Samuel ~ Ms.September here, we NEED to talk…I’m on board with your vision and can help! Lets put our heads together and let Jesus use us to change lives, one child at a time, maybe even a whole village, dream BIG! See me Sunday in Kid’s Church 🙂



  1. Paying Forward…sorta « The Ignition Point - [...] is working on a fundraising project for building a playground in Haiti.  He talks about it at his post…
  2. the importance of play [guest post from @chrismarlow] : - [...] to take on. You can read more about what we’re doing and how you can help on my post…
  3. how to plan a [garage sale for orphans] : - [...] It’s about people coming together to impact our world for the better in the name of Jesus Christ. You…
  4. [the story of God, the story of us]: introduction : - [...] I want to share and hear about the lives that He’s changing. I want to tell the story of…
  5. One Family’s Radical Christmas | Soul Munchies - [...] to give Christmas to Haiti this year. You can read all about his project and follow his journey here,…
  6. day of small beginnings [guest post from @justapen] : - [...] that’s still three people who were effected enough to give to someone else this Christmas. Dan King of…
  7. what festivus should teach us about Christmas : - [...] felt more and more convicted lately about over-commercializing Christmas, and trying to find ways for my family to focus…
  8. the orphan i am [a theology of adoption] : - [...] that time, our family has been dedicated to making a bigger difference. I went on a mission trip to…
  9. The Orphan I Am « - [...] that time, our family has been dedicated to making a bigger difference. I went on a mission trip to Haiti in…
  10. Haiti: One Year Later | Soul Munchies - [...] great stories of how his family has been involved – both on the ground in Haiti and from his…
  11. why i’m starting to work with @helpendpoverty by Dan King (filed in orphan care, poverty, the latest): read. pray. serve. – - [...] of how it’s impacting me and my family. Like the time my son decided that he wanted to help…
  12. how to build a playground… in haiti — - [...] starts with a boy with a heart to do something special for others. “I want to send Christmas to…
  13. on the importance of coming back by Dan King - - [...] years ago, my son wanted to “send Christmas to Haiti.” He wanted to build a playground. So we had…
  14. christmas and the heart of giving by Dan King - - [...] stirred something deeper in my heart for a few years now. Two years ago my son said he wanted…
  15. How a 7 Year Old Built a Playground in Haiti @ Garage Sale for Orphans - [...] starts with a boy with a heart to do something special for others. “I want to send Christmas to the…
  16. on the importance of coming back - Activist Faith - [...] years ago, my son wanted to “send Christmas to Haiti.” He wanted to build a playground. So we had…
  17. on the importance of coming back - Activist Faith - […] years ago, my son wanted to “send Christmas to Haiti.” He wanted to build a playground. So we had…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

all i want for Christmas…

by Dan King time to read: 3 min