Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Little Texas Treasure Brings Big Inspiration

Early in the year we received an envelope in the mail from a small friend in Texas.  Eliza is the sweet daughter of a close friend, and she had enclosed her version of Flat Stanley in the hope that we would show him around Halifax and treat him to an adventure in our winter.  We were then asked to mail him back with a letter explaining all that he had experienced in our part of the world.  If you haven't heard about Flat Stanley, check him out here!  

We gave Flat Stanley quite a fun time!  He got to visit the cranes in the harbor and he loved playing in the snow....but his favorite adventure was tobogganing!!!

We mailed Flat Stanley home to Houston warm and toasty in a Canada t-shirt!

When I was sitting down to write the letter to Eliza about all that Flat Stanley had experienced, an idea started to brew inside me.  From the time that I have known Eliza I have always marveled at her gentle spirit and her kind heart.  Distance keeps me from getting to know her as she grows up but whenever we see each other I am reminded again of that sweet, compassionate little girl.  When Flat Stanley arrived I was in the very early stages of this Forty 4 Change project and my mind was on overdrive with creative ways to touch people in give back ventures.  So I decided to solicit Eliza's help....and I enclosed a separate letter with a cheque for $100.  I explained the project to her, in terms she could understand, and I asked her to help me by thinking of an organization or a group of people that could use her help.  I also asked her to think about growing the money to make an even bigger difference.

Asking Eliza to help me in this project wasn't going to be a stretch for her, she comes from very charitable minded parents, has four siblings {2 of whom are adopted} and I have witnessed her caring heart.  Nonetheless, I was very excited to see what she would do....

When I visited Houston in late April of this year, Eliza didn't wait long to start talking to me about her thoughts for donating to a charity.  At the time she shared her desires to support something to do with adoption, or maybe help an organization their church was already supporting....what really moved me about our chat was that she was really torn about what to do and who to help.  To her, this was a crucial decision.  I knew after that conversation that I had chosen the perfect child to help me spread the giving a little further.

I encouraged Eliza to take her time deciding who to support {after all, she had until the end of the year}, and that quite often the opportunity will just present itself.  And I think that is exactly what happened.

On a hot summer day in Halifax I received a text message from Eliza's mom, Amber, with a photo the photo sat Eliza and her brothers under a tree with their Forty 4 Change Lemonade Stand!  I couldn't stop grinning that entire day...I knew that Eliza had found a way to grow that money.

In May of this year an F5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, destroying nearly everything in its path and killing 160 people.  Through a friend on Eliza's soccer team {originally from Joplin} she was able to donate her money to relief efforts in Missouri.  

Thank you Eliza....I am so proud of you sweetie, and I am grateful for your help in giving back to people who really needed it.

More updates to come in the last days of this project..... 

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Eliza and Jennifer ! Always keeping you in special thoughts, John and Gaby