Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Letter We Received

Dear World Vision,

My name is Lily Zamadics and I am six years old.
My friends gave money at my birthday party so that we could buy things for other children. We collected so much money – it’s almost $200! I picked out 10 fruit trees because people can eat the fruit. My friend Chloe thought chickens would be good because of the eggs, so we bought two of those. My friend Conor really wanted someone to have a warm blanket. And my other friends chose the goat because of the milk.

I hope the kids will love what we got for them!


Lily & Friends (Chloe, Conor, Amanda, Alison, Ryan, Ashley, Kennedy, Gracie, Erin, Madeline, Morgan, Catherine & Michaela)


Contributed by Sally Zamadics

My daughter’s sixth birthday was approaching. As I looked around Lily’s room -- filled with clothes, books, toys and everything else a six-year-old would want or need -- I couldn’t bear the thought of receiving more “stuff.”

First of all, she didn’t need any more toys. And secondly, we didn’t want our daughter to start to expect an excessive amount of gifts at every birthday or holiday.

So, my husband and I decided to use her birthday party as a way to give rather than receive. We explained it to Lily ... and she was on board!

I contacted the Gift Catalog department at World Vision and told them what we wanted to do. They directed me to the “Giving Toolbox,” a complimentary kit that can be ordered online. I ordered, and it arrived within two weeks.

When we mailed Lily’s birthday invitations to her friends, we included a note that asked her friends to bring a cash donation instead of gifts. We hung the poster at the party (which was included in the Giving Toolbox) and we collected donations as her friends arrived. We collected $180.

During the birthday party, I sat down with the children. I explained that not all children have what they have. "Some children can’t afford to go to school, and don’t have enough food to eat!" I told them.

They all listened! I told them that we were going to purchase some items from the Gift Catalog so that some other children could have a little bit more. They were excited!

We looked through the catalog and I explained some of the options. They were responsive, and they offered ideas of what we should purchase and why. In the end, they chose one goat, two chickens, ten fruit trees and one warm blanket.

The kids really “got it,” and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for all.

This was an absolute “win, win” for everyone. Lives half a world away will be changed through the gifts we purchased from the Gift Catalog. And my daughter and her friends realized that it actually does feel better to give than to receive.

We will continue to do this for Lily’s birthday every year, and I will do it for my younger daughter when she is older. I want both Lily and Ava to grow up knowing it is their responsibility to share what God has given them with others.

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