Granddaughters' Generosity Helps Those Less Fortunate

Using allowance and teachings of Henri Nouwen lead girls to learn the joy of giving.


Madison, 10, Lillian, 5, and Lailah, 8, enjoy delivering toys at Christmas.

Photo By Christine Leetch

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Our 8-year-old granddaughter, Lailah, saved her allowance last year for her Christmas shopping. The day she was going Christmas shopping, she gave all her money to her grandfather, Ken, and told him she wanted him to give her money to “buy some chickens for kids in a poor country who didn’t have any eggs so that they will have some for their breakfast like us.” We have eight chickens and haven’t bought eggs for more than two years.

A wonderful friend, Francis Howard, goes to Nicaragua at least once a year, so we asked him if he knew of any needy families there who could use the protein. He took Lailah’s money, as well as the matched amount her grandfather donated, to purchase chickens and chicken feed. To this day, those families still have chickens, even replacing those that are stolen. We continue sending money to buy chicken feed.

Lailah has always had the gift of giving to those less fortunate. Even in school, she’ll give up a prize she won to make another child happy.

Our 10-year-old granddaughter, Madison, gives her allowance to the needy on the streets. She doesn’t think twice about it and says her parents give her the go-ahead to do what she wants to with her earnings.

Every Christmas, three of our granddaughters — Madison, Lillian and Lailah — go shopping with me to purchase toys to donate to needy families in our local community. I’m a board member of the Marina (California) Grange No. 518, and the organization donates $1,000 plus any monetary donations we are able to come up with, and then we girls hit the stores. We then load up the pickup truck, once we decorate it, and take everything to the Marina Volunteer Firefighters Association for them to deliver.

Unfortunately, this past December, Madison and Lillian were unable to participate because their father is in Afghanistan, and they have moved to be closer to their other grandparents in Florida.

As Henri Nouwen states in The Life of the Beloved, “True joy, happiness and inner peace come from the giving of ourselves to others. A happy life is a life for others.”

The joy it brings to these girls is beyond words. We have been blessed with granddaughters who enjoy bringing joy and happiness to others.