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Birthday children choose charity

January 25, 2017

Children donate gifts to Project HOPE

A trio of big-hearted little girls celebrated their birthdays together in a HOPE-ful way. Preschool classmates Anna, Gracie and Randilyn all turned 5 in January and were excited about the prospect of a joint mermaid-themed pool party.

“I thought it was a good idea, but was concerned that it might be a bit much for each child in the class to come and bring three birthday presents,” said Lynn Jennings, Randilyn’s grandmother. She then suggested to the other parents that they ask the girls if they would like to donate their birthday to a charity that helps other children like them around the world. The parents – and subsequently the birthday girls – liked the idea.

Jennings, who works for Project HOPE, gave the girls a list of several charities – some local and some international. The girls settled on Project HOPE, and their parents set up a fundraising page where party guests could donate in lieu of buying presents.

Young philanthropists donate party gifts

“There are kids in the world who need things more than I do," reasoned birthday girl Anna. Anna’s mother says the little girl has a huge heart and prays for children in the world who are hurting and are in need of clean water, food and medical help. Anna says she already has everything she needs and wants to help others feel better.

Jennings’ granddaughter, Randilyn, was familiar with Project HOPE’s mission. “I've shown her pictures from our programs and from the sites I've been able to visit in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, India and Indonesia,” said Jennings. “We pray for those children and the children we support through our church and other organizations, including Project HOPE. She's always so empathetic for other children who do not have their basic needs met and we talk about how lucky she is to be able to go to the doctor when she is sick.”

When Jennings explained how Randilyn and her friends could help other children by donating their birthdays to Project HOPE, Randilyn said, "I want to do that! We can still celebrate our birthdays and have fun, but we can have a bigger celebration in our heart if we help other girls and boys. I have enough toys and I can go to the doctor and get medicine when I'm sick. Lots of other kids don't have that."

Children host party to benefit Project HOPE.

Approximately 20 children attended the party, which included a brief “mission moment” with a discussion about Project HOPE’s work to improve the health of children in countries far away from their own hometown.

And then, according to Jennings, “We ate pizza, fruit and had one big birthday cake. The girls all blew the candles out together. So cute!”

To see Anna, Gracie and Randilyn’s fundraising page, visit HOPE in Action.

Learn more about using the important occasions in your life to fundraise for Project HOPE online through the HOPE in Action program – a way to start small yet create positive global impact.

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