My daughter, Rachel, is 6 years old. She has a real heart for orphans. Like many children, she longs to help orphans in some way, but she finds it difficult to know how to help them. This past weekend, we had the privilege of sharing at the Awakening conference in Venice, FL. We decided, at the last minute, to take our 3 & 6 year old to stand with us at our table as we greeted the conference attendees.
For two years, Rachel has tried to think of ways that she can help care for orphans. She’s thought of everything from writing a book to doing voice-overs on some of the Patch Our Planet videos. All good ideas.
But this weekend was different. She had a passion like I had never seen before. In the hustle of trying to get to the conference on time, she asked me if she could color some pictures of orphans and sell them at the conference. I wasn’t sure how that would fly with the conference hosts, so I just told her to ask her mother (nothing like putting off potential life-crushing decisions on your spouse)!
My wife was aware enough to see the passion in our daughter’s eyes. This was her chance. So she told her that it would be OK to color a few pictures to take to the conference. When they showed up at the conference later that morning, Rachel took her place at the end of the Patch Our Planet table. She held her pictures up high and bounced them around like the people on the sidewalks trying to grab attention for their business.
That was not going to work. So we asked her to hold her drawings in front of her. If anyone was interested in the drawings, then she could talk to them. Well, it didn’t take long for people to come up to her and ask her if she was selling those beautiful pictures. She would say, “I am raising money for Patch Our Planet”. They would ask her how much she charged and her answer was simply, “whatever you want to give”. She ran out of pictures that first day.
What was she doing during the conference sessions? She was busy making more. And she sold out of those too.
Now she was on a mission. When she returned home after the first day, she got right back to work drawing more beautiful pictures. I arrived at the conference early the next day. A nice lady came to our table and asked me if that little girl was coming back to sell her drawings. She wanted to buy one. Apparently, people realized that if a 6 year old can make a difference, they could too.
At the end of the two day event, Rachel raised $101 to help children in foster care and orphans globally through the work of Patch Our Planet. Every dollar counts. When we told her how much she had raised from her drawings, you should have seen her face. Such satisfaction. She must have asked my wife and I a thousand times if we were proud of her for coloring those pictures.
And of course we were. We are. We always will be.
Way to go Rachel.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
For the sake of church & child,Steve Gillis Founder | Patch Our Planet www.patchourplanet.org