Aidan recently attended his first Bat Mitzvah. His friend asked for people to make a donation to a charity close to her heart in lieu of gifts. As we were reflecting on what a lucky family we are and have all that we could ever need (an important place for me to get to with all of my recent stress over our budget, etc), I mentioned this to Samantha since she has a birthday coming up soon. She is getting a lap top from us, and her grandparents will get her tons of clothes and fun gifts, so I suggested that she consider a charity for her friend party. She will have about 12 girls over, most spend around $25 for a birthday gift. That money could go a long way if donated to a charity. I did not push the issue, though because I wanted it to be her decision.
This morning she came downstairs and said she had a dream about a girl in Guatemala who did not have a home and was not able to go to school and that she wanted her birthday gifts to go to From Houses to Homes. Wow!
We learned about this organization when we were planning our spring break trip to Guatemala last year. One of the local charter schools goes each year with high school students to build a house for a family. This knowledge was super important when we were on our trip and Samantha asked what the small buildings were along the side of the road as we traveled to Lake Atitlan. In Guatemala, many call this a house.
And, as we strolled around the town next to the lake, Samantha innocently asked if the children there were on spring break like her. It broke my heart to tell her no that these children did not go to school. That night back at our rental house in Antigua, she asked me the hard question that I knew was coming…would that have been her if we had not adopted her? I had to say probably so. Through tears that night we decided that one day we would come back and build a house for a family (and the children of those families get to go to the FHTH school).
So I was not surprised at all when she chose From Houses to Homes as her birthday charity. I would also not be surprised if one day she heads to Guatemala to give back in an even bigger way. She has an amazing heart.
If others want to make a birthday donation in Samantha’s honor, click here. Be sure to note it is in Samantha’s honor that you are donating. She wants to see what kind of impact she can make with this wish.