Addie's Gift

The morning started like any other Saturday morning. The kids woke up yelling in delight at the first blanket of snow. They quickly ate their scrambled eggs and then ran around the house looking for snow pants and boots. Out the door they charged (minus a pre-teen big brother who was not to be bothered by a mere dusting of the white stuff). Sydney began shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, Addie thoughtfully considered how much time had to pass before hot chocolate was justified, and Audrey – wait, why was Audrey outside in her ballet clothes? As Ray retrieved Audrey, I filled the dishwasher, and Addie decided enough time had passed. In she came, shedding winter clothes all the way through the kitchen. She climbed up on a bench positioned under a kitchen window and watched Sydney finish the sidewalks. “Mommy?” she questioned. I started to smile anticipating her inquiry as to whether we had mini marshmallows. “For my birthday, can I get presents and give them to kids who don’t have much?” I looked down into the dishwasher as I added another plate. “Do you mean you would like to give the gifts you receive to others?” She looked at me and nodded vigorously. “Yes! Can I do that?”

After more conversation about the types of gifts she could receive and the types of gifts that less fortunate people need, we discussed other ideas. I wondered how I could possibly explain to a nearly 7 year old that the iTunes gift card she could receive would probably go to a child that did not have an iPod. I started going through needs. I explained that babies need diapers, kids needs winter coats and boots and homeless families need food and other supplies. As I left her to shower and get ready for the day, I asked her to think about what would be most important to her. After all, it was her birthday and it would be her gift.

Addie’s gift was also featured in the Midland Daily News. Click here or here to read more about this young philanthropist.

She approached me about an hour later and said that she would like to give food to homeless families. “But not just food! Other things, too.” I looked at my child and willed tears away. “Do you mean other things like toothbrushes and toothpaste?” She nodded and said, “Yeah.”

By Rachel McLaughlin

In honor of Addie’s 7th birthday on December 4th, she and her family collected non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products and donated them to Midland’s Open Door. In addition, Addie also raised $1,212 in cash donations for Midland’s Open Door, making Addie’s 7th birthday not only memorable, but a tremendous blessing to others! Thank you, Addie!

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