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…
- the importance of play [guest post from @chrismarlow]
- how to plan a [garage sale for orphans]
- HELP building a playground in Haiti [a message from @chrismarlow] (YouTube)
- One Boy’s Special Gift (@ Christmas Change)
- day of small beginnings [guest post from @justapen]
Here are some posts that others are writing about this…
- Paying Forward…sorta (Seiji Yamashita)
- One Family’s Radical Christmas (Crystal Rowe)
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…
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.
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!
This is so awesome! PLEASE throw a guest post my way. I will def be trying to org a fundraiser for this.
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!
Ok so here’s what I’m doing to help you out….let’s see how well this works. =)
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 http://blog.raisingchristianboys.com
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!
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 (http://wp.me/p1c7TK-1P). So far she’s up to $4000 which is almost enough for 2 houses and actually had an article in a state newspaper today (http://bit.ly/dMiyWs). It’s great to see kids get involved at such young ages!
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!
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 🙂