Give What Counts
LWB has just launched our year end campaign: “Give What Counts.” If you didn’t receive a year end letter, you can read it here.
The idea came to me when I was listening to a woman tell me that she dreaded the holiday season because all of her family members were so hard to buy presents for. I believe her exact line was, “I guess I’ll get my dad another nice golf shirt even though he has about 50. What do you buy for someone who already has everything?” Of course I told her that I had lots of ideas for what she could buy her father that would actually have real meaning on Christmas morning, such as the chance to go to school for a child in poverty or good baby formula for a child in a healing home. I am not quite sure she appreciated my suggestions, but it was actually a wonderful reflection moment for me, as I once again asked myself how we got to a point where the holidays are often more stress than real joy. Something to “get through” versus a time to really think deeply about what we value and cherish in our lives.
Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to pause and BREATHE and remember that the holidays are supposed to be about real love and real giving and not just about frantically trying to cross everyone off of a shopping list. The holidays are a wonderful time to recommit ourselves to counting our blessings, and of course for so many of us, we would list family right up on top of that list, wouldn’t we? I have written about it before, but I think all of us who actually have families are guilty of taking them for granted, because they are just always there, aren’t they?
But to a child in an orphanage…the word “family” is something they might not even be able to comprehend. They hear about families of course, from their nannies or from kids at school, but for a child raised in an institution, how could they even fully understand what it means? It is just a dream for most kids, which I know makes most of us very sad in our hearts. All children deserve someone to truly love them.
This season, I hope each of you will take a moment to pause and breathe and remember just how many kids around the world go to bed hungry and lonely and wondering if anyone will ever really want them. I hope you will take a moment to reflect that the holidays ARE a season of caring, and I believe that doesn’t just apply to those in our inner circle. Genuine caring brings comfort to those in need. Genuine caring is something that moves people to action. Genuine caring means you don’t just look at a child who is hurting and turn the other way.
I am so very grateful to each of you for making our programs in China possible. This year we have seen absolute miracles happen, from tiny babies receiving life-saving surgeries to older children finally getting a chance to go to school to multiple children being united with permanent families just days before aging out. The reality is that none of it happens without you. Every life we touched was only changed because we worked together.
This holiday season, let’s all give what counts. Let’s give healing and hope, love and JOY to children who are often forgotten.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer