Ever since Ivy's 2nd birthday we have collected items for a charity in lieu of birthday presents. In the past we have collected donations for a church's backpack program serving students in Fayette and Jessamine Counties. I simply chose this because I knew the need was great and I was sure that our party guests could just pick some goodies up on their next grocery store trip. This year was different and so exciting, all because of a little car conversation.
As we were driving along about a month before Ivy's birthday she made a bold statement. "Surely there aren't still kids who need food in their backpacks this year!" She made a huff and I jumped right into preacher mode.... there are so many children in need and you get plenty of presents from your family members.... blah blah blah. She quickly interrupted to clarify where she was going with this, "I just mean I think there are probably babies, who don't have back packs, that need stuff too. I want to give presents to them." Wow, did my voice change because I realized that the giving heart we had been trying to mold through the years was shining through. She was choosing her own charity this year and I really wasn't surprised that it involved helping babies because Ivy loves babies!
So after some research I chose, All God's Children, a home for at risk teens who are pregnant or mothering to help them get on their feet. They provide care for the mothers and children. Ivy wanted to know the specifics- who were the babies and what did they need? I called and learned that currently seven babies, between the ages of 10 and 19 months, live at the home with their mothers. Along with the seven that live there several are served throughout the week through their daycare and preschool programs. They were in need of several items but the person I talked to suggested that we focus on one area so that we could deliver in bulk.
So last Friday, we were able to take a load of finger foods and stage 2 baby foods to All God's Children. Ivy's eyes were in shock as she met each of the little ones that she had collected presents for. Allowing her to be a part of picking All God's Children and then getting to see the faces' of the lives her party would impact was huge. It made it more than worth it to her... and to me! She is still talking about the children she saw and what other needs they might have. She is already preparing Tula for collecting items for her birthday in September. I am thankful for the personal blessing we receive yearly as we give back to others through our birthday celebration!