There’s a reason Jesus loves the little children. In Scripture, He even says the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them and such like them (Matthew 19:14). Here are a collection of stories highlighting children’s efforts to love others and share God’s love.
“I love stories about children who have hearts to help others,” said Mary Sue Alexander, a Southern Baptist church member at Fusion Church of Madison in Georgia. “I feel it encourages everyone to be more sensitive about needs of others. In the whole scheme of things it make a better world.”
Candy bars energize Hurricane Harvey volunteers and survivors
Dallas Claytor was given $50 and challenged by his pastor during a sermon to ask the Lord how to spend it generously. Dallas did what most fifth graders would do … he bought $50 worth of candy bars.
But he didn’t buy them to eat or pass out to his friends. No. Dallas was on a mission to show Hurricane Harvey survivors they were not only being prayed for by kids all the way in Oregon but to let them know about the love of Jesus.
“He definitely is such a tenderheart but also an extroverted kid,” Dallas’ mom, Pamela, said. “Dallas has a boldness that is fabulous! He also has a tender heart. It has triggered other opportunities for him to think outside the box and serve people without fear or other inhibitors adults might have.”
Dallas turned the $50 into $690 by wrapping the candy bars in handmade drawings of encouraging pictures and messages and selling them door-to-door. Since most people donated instead of buying the candy bars, Dallas sent the candy bars to be distributed by the North American Mission Board Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers as they ministered to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.
“His class and teacher turned it into an example of how to be empathetic to others,” says Pamela. “We’ve been talking about how to show Christ’s love to others and he just asked about doing the Meals on Wheels. He is doing some neat things with his everyday activities like tae kwon do. My husband and I encourage him to be a light in all his normal activities in life and to find ways—on a kid level—to share Jesus with others.”
Found on NAMB’s official instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/BZhCBfVhZza/?taken-by=namb_sbc
Creativity and resourcefulness on display for hurricane relief funds
The Whitaker family in Tallahassee, Fla., began selling lemonade and painted rocks to raise awareness and support for Hurricane Harvey relief. The family felt a special connection to survivors in Texas because last year their home was hit by Hurricane Hermine. Though the storm was less destructive, the Whitakers still remember the damage that ravaged their city, and they were compelled to serve and to love the victims.
The idea for a fundraiser began with 6-year-old Ali Whitaker, who wanted to create a lemonade stand to raise support. To draw attention, the Whitakers painted messages such as “Pray 4 Texas” and #TallyLovesTX on rocks and asked those who purchased the rocks to leave them throughout their community.
“I just hope that this will help the people in Texas get the things they need and hear about Jesus,” said Ali. “That will make me happy.”
With their fundraiser in motion and saturated in prayer, the Whitakers started with a goal of $100, which has now been greatly exceeded. The family raised $1,470 in just a few days.
From lemonade to foster care ministry
Those who know her would probably describe A’Layah Robinson as no ordinary 7-year-old but a giver.
Growing up in foster care, she and her brothers know the struggles of going from one house to the next. One Saturday afternoon, A’Layah saw a group of teenagers at a lemonade stand, and something sparked in her heart. She decided to start her own stand to help foster kids.
What started out as a small idea turned into Lemonade for Love—a ministry that seeks to give hope to hundreds of Oklahoma children.
When asked why she started a lemonade stand, A’Layah simply stated, “I help foster kids, and I want to give them hope.”
She said what really inspired her was seeing her brother have no possessions of his own.
“When I came to my forever home, I had lots of boxes of things, but my brother had nothing. He only had one outfit.”
The proceeds of her lemonade stand—approximately $20,000—go toward stuffing bright yellow bags for foster children. Each of the bags contains what she proclaims are “the essentials” for foster kids — a “blankie,” a Bible, a stuffed animal and a toothbrush. Lemonade for Love has donated around 700 bags to Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services.
Twins give birthday money to local mission
Instead of receiving gifts during 7-year-old twins Chloe and Sidney Burlew’s birthday party, they for donations to the Main Street Mission in Pineville, La.
Because of their unselfish act, the two girls were able to gather more than $640 dollars for the mission which is a ministry of First Baptist Church in Pineville where the girls go.
The girls got the idea from watching a movie about a little girl who asked friends to bring kids’ shoes instead of toys for her birthday party. Instead of asking for shoes, they decided to ask for money to give to the mission.
The girls knew about Main Street Mission from their grandmother who volunteers there.
One day after the twins had cleaned out their room, they brought toys and clothes to the Mission. They ended up staying and helping hang up clothes and organizing toys.
“People usually spend money on toys for gifts for their birthdays and then a week later, they are all broken and it just seems like such a waste,” said Amanda Burlew, mother of Chloe and Sidney. “The girls were taught the way to share the love of God is by loving others and so they thought it would be a good idea to give back.”
The money was used to help fix the Main Street Mission’s roof.
Amanda encourages more parents to become involved in giving to similar ministries. She said they should especially look for ways to get their kids involved so they can experience charitable giving firsthand.
Published November 3, 2017