Wednesday, August 27, 2008

something to consider

What would you do with $75? If someone offered you $75, as a gift, what might you do?

Me? Let's see....I may swing through Ann Taylor Loft and see what I could find there. I may also look at Barnes and Noble and see what I could find there. Or, I may run into Sephora and go a little crazy.

Last month I gave someone $75 and you know what she bought?

A table.

As you likely know if you've been reading for a while, I sponsor two little girls in Albania through World Vision. My regular sponsorship is $30 a month, which seems like very little to me, when you think about it. They also have something that is completely optional, called a direct donation, where the entire amount you send goes directly to your child, whereas my monthly gift also goes partly to the community as a whole. One of my girls, Majlinda, had a birthday in May. I had wanted to do a direct donation for her birthday, but I got sidetracked by final papers for school and such, so it never happened.

I had a letter from her in early July. In it, her mother (Majlinda is five, and too young to write) told me that Majlinda loves the seashore. She said they live nearby, but it isn't possible for them to go there. I had just come back from a week at home in NH with my family, where we spent a day at the ocean. I thought that maybe if I did the direct donation then, maybe, just maybe, her family could spend a day at the ocean as well.

I called to make the arrangements over the phone and the girl I spoke with explained the process. I could certainly "suggest" things that I'd like them to do, but there were no guarentees that this would happen, as maybe there was something that the family really needed, like a goat, or similar. So, I suggested a trip to the seaside, or some books, or really anything. I was anxious to hear what happened.

I came home today to find three letters from Albania in my mailbox. One from Inaete, my new little girl, and two from Majlinda. One thanked me for the book and stickers I had sent a while ago, and the second, I about cried when I opened.

My dear friend,

This is Majlinda's elder sister writing to you. We thank you very much for the gift and the humanity you show towards Majlinda. Thank you for making my sister happy with such beautiful presents. The books, stickers and the colors (crayons!) you sent are ready for the fall when she will go to the kindergarten. She is very happy with your presents. God bless you! With the money you sent we bought a table.


Majlinda's family

With the letter, was a photo of Majlinda standing in front of the table in a pink ballerina tutu. With all of the things in the world that $75 can purchase in Albania, Majlinda's family bought a beautiful kitchen table.

Things like this help me to put things into perspective. I don't need to go into Ann Taylor or Barnes and Noble. I have a closet full of clothes and more books then I have time to read. Majlinda has few of these things, and with the option to buy some, she buys a table for her family.

Makes you think, eh?


Ashley D said...

Wow that made my post about my new clothes from Ann Taylor look ridiculous. Thank you for that. It's so humbling to realize how out of sync we are with the rest of the world.

Playful Professional said...

I'm in the mood for change and this helped. Any ideas on how to get into community service and volunteering in the DC area? I used to do things all the time and miss it.

Janssen said...

Oh, I love World Vision. My husband and I each have a sponsored child. Hooray!

Lauren said...

Oh wow, that's an incredible story. You're so amazing, sponsoring a child like that. It makes me want to go do it as well.

Sara said...

It is a wonderful gift to be able to have a direct impact in someone’s life. Now, every time her family sits at that table they will be reminded of the kindness and generosity of strangers…pretty good for the cost of filling up an SUV. Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story.

wafelenbak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wafelenbak said...

What a wonderful story.
I get the same kind of feelings when I send gifts off to my Chemo Angels patient. Volunteering with an organization that helps anyone in hard circumstances really puts things in perspective. :)

Katelin said...

that is so cool that you do that. and that's awesome how much you've changed they're family for the best :)

magda said...

Happy Happy Happy. I'm so totally going to do something similar for my sponsored boy's birthday in October!

Beautiful post, Lexi. Seriously. This perspective is so valuable; thank you for sharing your insights! And hope you're having a marvelous weekend!

La Petite Belle said...

you are so right, sometimes I forget how lucky we are for simply living in the US. What is an everything thing to me is a luxury to so many people.