When I was in grade school I remember this girl came to school on her birthday and gave all of us these little watercolor paint sets. I was confused. It was her birthday. Wasn’t she supposed to be the one getting presents? Apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking this. One of the other kids asked the question out loud, and so the girl’s mom explained the whole “giving is as important as getting” concept and said that birthdays can be a fun day to celebrate the spirit of giving.
Fast forward a couple of decades… This past year for my birthday I went to the coast for the weekend and then out to dinner with some friends. I didn’t even think about volunteering, donating to any cause or using that day for anything bigger than Me.
Fast forward several months… Today this kid, Andy Ho, walks into the office with his dad. He’s maybe eight or nine years old, and he’s got a gleeful grin on his face. For his birthday he has chosen to gather donations from friends and family (rather than asking for presents) and give them to the Red Cross. To respect confidentiality I won’t tell you how much it was, but let’s just say he raised quite a significant amount. (I expected dimes and quarters, but these were checks.) And apparently he has done this for his past three birthdays as well. I’m totally amazed.
Thank you, Andy, for your awesome donation and for reminding me of that lesson I learned way back in grade school.