My wonderful grand daughter just turned five. We always have a party for her with all of our friends and family. I am often a little embarrassed by all the riches received by her. I thought that this year, with her parents blessing, we could do something different.
A nearby elementary school was devastated by fire over the summer and lost nineteen classrooms and the library. I thought we could use this birthday to create an opportunity for Lily, even at the young age of five, to understand service to others.
The day before her party we drove to the school and took her on a tour of the devastation. Since Lily has been attending nursery she understood the concept of school and seeing the burned buildings helped her understand why we wanted to help.
We asked the party-goers to bring donations of books for the school instead of a present. Of course people still brought Lily gifts (isn’t that always the way?) but she also collected three boxes of books for the library.
It was her first building block towards what I hope will be a life filled with service and I hope it has a lifelong effect on her.