When I was seven, I saw a commerical for the American Diabetes Foundation asking people to donate to fund research for a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. I took a hot pink sock and filled it with every penny I could find around the house. I don’t remember what happened to the sock full of pennies, but I remember thinking if I could fill it up and send it in, maybe it would help someone.
When I was twelve I had a pen-pal from India. Her family sent a letter out asking people to pray that they would have money to buy bibles for the school they were starting. I calcualted how much the bibles cost, and how much each person in my youth group needed to contribute in order for us to buy them. If we all put in a few dollars, it would add up.
When I was nineteen I learned about the water crisis worldwide and how simple it was to fix by installing wells in countries that had no access to clean water. I pulled my cousins together and we decided we were going to raise money to build a well. We various fundraisers and eventually several news stations and news papers interviewed me. Word spread, more people got involved and ou motto became “If everyone gives a little, we can change the world.”
Today I am twenty-six and as I look back over the last couple years where I’ve been working and fundraising for different projects in Uganda, Africa, I estimate that we’ve raised well over $100,000. It is incredible to look back over my life and see how God has worked to instill in me a passion to change the world and to do big things in His name. I can see how each step along the way, He has used each of these little projects (and many more) to spur me on and push me forward to even bigger and greater things.
All this being said, I want to share about a project my friend Elijah is working on. Elijah just turned 9 last week, and instead of asking for presents this year, he asked his parents if they could get people to donate socks, towels and blankets to a local homeless shelter. As soon as I heard about it I knew I had to share. It took me back to all these projects (and others) and how, because many got behind and supported me, the projects were succesful in helping a lot of people. So take a minute and read the interview I did with Elijah, and consider getting involved or at least sharing his story. I think you will be just as challenged as I was:
Elijah: Anybody that knows me knows that I love sports. My favorite sport to watch is basketball and my favorite to play is football. I really like to pray, I don’t do it all the time because I’m caught up in everything else, but I like to pray about basically anything that’s going on. Lecrae is my favorite kind of music but NeedtoBreath is my favorite band.
Rebecca: So I think I know everything about what you’re wanting to do, but let’s start with you just telling me how you got the idea and what your plan is.
Elijah: Well, the idea came because when it’s your birthday, you get gifts. But Jesus didn’t get gifts, He gave a gift. We live by the interstate in Grandbay and basically everytime we go somewhere we have to get on the interstate so we see a lot of people walking around. I actually thought of the idea while we were on the interstate.
Rebecca: After that you started looking into homeless shelters?
Elijah: At first we were just going to collect a few things and take the stuff to the people we found around the interstate but then we looked into it more. I called the shelter and asked what they needed and this Saturday we’re going to have lunch with the lady that runs the shelter and take the supplies to her.
Rebecca: So what exactly are you trying to collect?
Elijah: Towles, socks, and blankets.
Rebecca: And how much are you hoping to collect?
Elijah: We’re hoping to collect a lot because there are actually two shelters we want to give to. The women’s shelter has showers and so they said they are always needing more towels. They said socks are good to donate because it’s winter and a lot of homeless people have to walk a long way.
Rebecca: Some people who read this may know your family already but some may not know you at all, some people may not be able to give something but they can still be encouraged in hearing what you’re doing. Is there anything else you’d like to say to people who are going to read this?
Elijah: Just that, you know, Jesus did something big. No one can ever repay him for that. So we should all try the best we can to give big like Jesus did.
If you’d like to get involved and donate towels, socks, or blankets let us know! We can plan to meet up somewhere or you could mail a check and we can go buy the supplies here. You can reach me on:
Facebook: Rebecca Wattier
You can also help by sharing this through facebook and twitter, or leaving an encouraging comment- I’ll make sure Elijah sees them all.
**The Nicholson’s started a new church plant in the midtown Mobile area last year, South City Church, where I’m currently attending. If you’re in the Mobile area and are looking for a place to plug in you can find out more info at www.SouthCityMobile.com **