Yesterday our family celebrated my youngest son’s twelfth birthday. That last tween is barreling ahead to those teen years as quickly as he can. He’s a pretty good kid. Actually, pardon my bragging, he’s a great kid. Oh, he fusses constantly with his older sister, and forgets to make up his bed- stuff like that. I didn’t say he was perfect, just great.
We aren’t big on yearly birthday parties in our family. Last year he had a fairly big birthday when our whole family went in together to give him a full drum set. (Note: none of the rest of my family volunteered to keep the drum set at their house.) But this year we had not planned such a big to-do. Maybe just a movie and pizza with a few friends.
It just so happened that his birthday coincided with another big event. Yesterday was Bigger and Better Day. It was sponsored by World Vision Acts, (www.worldvisionacts.org) and Bob Goff. Mr. Goff is an attorney in Washington D.C. He’s not your normal Washington insider, bottom feeder, lawyer. Rather Mr. Goff, author of the book, Love Does, founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda and India.
Evan decided he wanted to participate in Bigger and Better Day on his birthday. It’s a game. You start with something small, like a paper clip, and you go door to door with the goal of trading up for something better, and then you do it again with whatever you traded for at the next house. In the end, you hope to have traded up enough to get something to sell. The money then gets donated to a person in a third world country who has applied for a micro loan. Our loan applicant was Lucino in the Philippines. Lucino needs $150.00 to buy fertilizer and an ox for his farm. His farm is his livelihood, and the extra money will help him expand his business and better provide for his family. When Lucino pays back the money, that money will go to fund another micro loan for another person
Since we don’t really live in a neighborhood, we ventured over to my parent’s neighborhood. It’s mostly a retirement community. My parents weren’t convinced that the people in their neighborhood would answer their doors, let alone understand and participate, but Evan and I decided to give it a try anyway. We invited a couple of friends to go with us, and we took off. I’ll admit, it was a bit difficult to get the point across to some, but everyone was very nice. Well, most everyone. To the snippy lady driving the Hummer, who insisted that she only gives to support the missions in her own church—shame on you for not playing! Everyone else was happy to play the game with Evan and his friends.
The boys started off with a paper clip and traded first for a pen. Then a screwdriver set, then a sander! We got really excited with a sander! The girls ventured off on their own and also started with a paper clip, traded for a pen, then a picture, then a wall clock, and then a lamp. Then people just started giving them stuff! The boys, however, ended up with the best trade of the day. They traded the sander for three new Ping golf clubs! The boys knew they had hit pay dirt! With those three clubs they could likely fund Lucino’s loan, help him make a better life for his family and his community, and when Lucino pays it back, that money will continue to make a better life for someone else. So a big THANK YOU to Bill and Mary Jane Turner for giving us the best trade of the day, and helping to make Evan’s birthday project a success!
You can play Bigger and Better anytime. And you can go to www.worldvisionacts.org to find a micro loan you can sponsor. Most of these people just need a couple hundred dollars to make their lives so much better. It’s fun, it gets lots of people involved, and at the end of the day you’ll be surprised what you can get with a paper clip!
For Evan, raising money to help Lucino topped his drum set party last year. I told you he was a great kid.