Last year Presley began inquiring about those living in Merci de Dieu village, asking questions and desiring to know about the people who have a strong hold on her Daddy’s heart. We have talked with her about those who struggle to eat one meal a day, who struggle to find shelter to keep their family safe, who do not have the opportunity to attend school.
Over time, her little heart has become consumed for the Haitian people. Not too long ago, she began to think of ways she could help. One morning, while playing in her playroom, she came downstairs with a toy in her hand and said, “mom, I don’t think my friends in Haiti have toys. Can I give them this toy?” Later that same evening, after tucking her in bed, I heard a rustling in her bedroom. Feeling very annoyed that my “downtime” was being interrupted, I walked into her room ready to set out the consequences of her being up and about. There on her bed were different outfits layed out. I wasn’t even able to ask her what she was doing before she blurted out, “mom, maybe I can give these clothes to my sisters in Haiti. Some of them still fit me, but some do not.” I don’t think she ever made eye contact with me. She was so busy pulling clothes out of her drawers, closet, and dress-up box. I sat and watched as she struggled to sift through her dress-up clothes. I could see the angst and turmoil within her as she debated whether she could actually live without her beloved pink tutu.
Time went on and very slowly I realized that as her stash of clothes and toys grew so did her heart for Haiti. She seemed to be just as consumed with a love for Haiti as her dad. Eventually we held a garage sale and told Presley that we would use the money to help a little boy or girl in Haiti go to school. When she realized we hadn’t raised enough money she was disheartened and immediately tried to think of a way to solve the problem….. “mom! I have money in my piggy bank! And maybe I can ask my cousins and hometeam friends to give me their piggy banks.”
She reached out to her friends and family collecting money to help her send a little boy or girl in the village to school. Every time she came to me asking if she had enough money and I didn’t give her the answer she was looking for, she would go to work thinking of another way to raise money. One day, while reading through a recent library book “Lemonade in Winter” she blurted out in excitement, “I know, I can have a lemonade stand!” And with that, she had enough money to send a little girl, Tueslyn, to school for one year.
Through the combination of emptying out piggy banks, collecting change from family and friends, holding one lemonade stand, and a garage sale, Presley was able to see God’s love in others as they extended loving kindness to help her heart felt desire to send a friend in Haiti to school.
Over the past year Presley has been filling up her piggy bank, and will be setting up a lemonade stand one day in May with the hope of sending Tueslyn to school again next year! If you and your kids would like to join us by holding your very own neighborhood lemonade stand for Haiti, please let me know 🙂 The money you raise through your lemonade stand will go directly to Tueslyn’s (or another child’s) schooling for the 2015-2016 school year. You can send the money you raise directly to Mercyintl.org (noting it “lemonade stand for Haiti”).
The idea is not to put weight on the amount of money raised, but rather open little hearts and minds to the beauty of helping those in need….for it is when we extend a helping hand to the broken-hearted that we come to know the depth of God’s own love for us.