Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But, who says almsgiving should have a season? A couple I know on the cusp of 40 have five children ranging in age from 12 to 2. Every year for each of their birthdays the kids participate in some kind of fundraiser to support a charity, like breast cancer research. Their dad's a surgeon, and their mom is a nurse, so they're pretty smart kids and have lots of access to health issues. And they are teaching their children that need knows no season.
For over a year, they have been raising money to support AngelNotion, a charity in Mexico dedicated to providing needed medical services for the economically underprivileged, especially children with cardiac problems. The kids began raising money to pay for transportation for children from Mexico to a hospital in Texas that has agreed to provide free heart surgeries for poor children from Mexico. The only stipulation is the cost of transportation to Texas has to be provided for the child/patient and a parent/guardian.
The kids decided to sell dishtowels emblazoned with a logo created by Emily, the creative second child. While I haven't purchased a towel, I did make a contribution last time I saw the family. I just received this update from their mother in an e-mail.
We are back from our trip to Mexico to deliver the money that the kids raised selling dishtowels to help some kids needing life saving heart surgery. In 6 months, the kids sold 2,400 dishtowels and raised $17,000.00!!! The mayor of Playa del Carmen was at the presentation and said "if those kids can raise that much money for our local kids, I'll throw in $25,000.00 of my own money". As a result, we were able to save the lives of 13 kids!!!!!!!!! ...Thanks to all of you who bought towels and gave donations for their cause. After visiting the clinic and meeting these kids and their families, we've decided that our work has only just begun!! We are in the process of becoming our own non-profit 501(c)3 and setting up our own webpage. A short 5 min. documentary has already been made and is being used in churches,etc. and a 20-30 min. documentary is in the process of being made. We'll let you know when it will be available to be viewed by all of you. Thank you again and again to all of you who contributed to our cause! The kids are still busy selling towels for the next kids on the list who need help.
It is from little projects like these that vocations are born. One small step leads to a bigger step, which leads to more steps that become a way of life - a calling.
Please watch this 2.5 minute interview with a remarkably poised Sarah, the oldest of the kids.