tVM learned about Heifer International during the 2011 Christmas season and wrote a post to celebrate this opportunity we have to make a positive difference in the world. I have no doubts that the gifts in honor of our grandchildren are making life better for someone in needs. Last weekend, the gift we made in December returned its own special reward to tVM…
Each of my grandchildren received a card from Heifer at Christmastime alerting them to the fact that animals had been donated to needy people in their honor. The parents of the younger children called to thank us and each was delighted with the gesture. More importantly, each parent took the time to explain to their sons and daughters the true value of the gift and why it would mean so much to those who received the animals. One parent even echoed St. Francis of Assisi and explained to his child, “For it is in giving that we receive…”
Two months have passed. Last weekend, our 4 1/2 – year old granddaughter and her younger sister spent Saturday night at our home. Their Dad retrieved them on Sunday afternoon. As they were preparing to leave, young Xylia hesitated as she walked by the globe in the corner of the room. As she looked at the globe she asked, “Dziadek [she refers to me with the Polish word for grandfather], can you show me where I sent my chickens?”
For the briefest instant, I was confused, and then it dawned on me with perfect clarity. She was referring to the Heifer donation at Christmas in her honor. Obviously she remembered. It was important to her, and her parents did a fine job explaining it to this little girl. I pointed to the United States — “That’s where you live.” — then rotated the globe and placed my finger on Africa. “There, honey. That is Africa. That is where you sent your chickens… to Africa so that a little girl just like you can have another good day with the promise of a better future.”
“Thanks,” she said as she smiled and hugged me.
The gift continues to grow!