Each year, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Jan gathers her three grandchildren at her dining room table and gives them money. She gives them each at least $100.
She tells them, “it’s a Christmas gift to you, but part of the joy of Christmas is to give some away to others who have less.”
While the grandchildren can choose to keep the money all for themselves, Jan lays before them different needs and opportunities to help. Some of the projects address immediate needs like food and others are long-term help like a teacher’s salary.
You just never know what will hit home with kids. “It’s a thrill to talk with them about the many needs and then to see what strikes their hearts,” Jan says.
There are no rules to how she does this each year. When the grandchildren were little, they wanted to touch and feel the money they would give away so she gave them stacks of bills. As they’ve gotten older, they know that a check or online gift works just as well.
Jan and her grandchildren look at websites, catalogs and letters. She listens as her grandchildren share stories of those in need and as they decide how to spend the money. Sometimes this process takes minutes and others times it prompts conversations that require maps or more research.
Often the giving is done around a meal. At other times the giving fits in where there is time. It’s just important that the giving takes place. “I pray that each year, each one will feel the joy of giving and know down deep that they have made a small difference in another child’s life,” Jan says.
Would you consider giving through our Gift Catalog this year? The Gift Catalog is available online. Maybe on your own, with your spouse or as a family, you look over the different needs. Each item in the Gift Catalog impacts the lives of families in rural Haiti. Consider what moves your heart and what issues matter most to you and give.
May your heart be full during this season. Wishing you a Merry Christmas from Haiti Foundation of Hope!
Written by Marissa Newby, HFH board member and daughter of Jan.