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The joy of giving ‘a gift that’s not a gift’

World Vision
15 October 2014 by Judy Rose
The joy of giving ‘a gift that’s not a gift’

Nana Judy loves to give her family World Vision Gifts. It means she can give meaningful gifts twice - first to loved ones, and again to a family in need. Photo by Lucy Aulich, World Vision

In my life, it has been and still is a wonderful privilege being involved with World Vision.  Their global humanitarian approach to improving the lives of so many is very inspirational.

My husband and I felt very privileged to have four beautiful healthy sons, and so in the 1980’s we began by sponsoring a child.  This opened our eyes further to the work done by World Vision, which through the sponsorship program affects not just the sponsored child, but their family and the whole community.  And so began our journey.

We have sponsored children over the last 25 years from the Philippines, Africa, Thailand – usually until each community have the tools to manage their lives.  Since my husband died eight years ago, I have continued to support our latest child from Uganda.  The communication with the child gives an insight into their growth, schooling, interests, with photos both from them and me to a small extent intertwining the family.

I have the good fortune to have nine wonderful grandchildren, aged from 7 years to 18 years, five boys and four girls.  My extended family all support World Vision in various ways.

With this in mind for Christmas 2013 I gave each child a World Vision gift using the Christmas catalogue as a guide.  What fun I had choosing from the variety of gifts, marrying up each child’s age and interests for the perfect gift: seeds, fish farms, goats, chickens.

I did wonder how these would be received – as a “gift that’s not a gift”. As all 17 of us were together for Christmas Day it was wonderful to see the reactions and be able to talk up the meaning of each gift, and explain the flow on effect their gift would have. Using the grain of sand approach which soon makes a lovely sandy beach!

My 13 year old granddaughter Maia said, “When I opened it, and I realised that it wasn’t for me, I was actually quite happy because I knew that someone would benefit a lot more than me.”

Isobel, who is also 13, felt the same. “You’ve not just got another present, you’ve actually got a card that’s helped someone in another country improve their life completely,” she said.

Giving a World Vision gift gives you a huge amount of joy and great happiness – and its special happiness. I do hope many others will find just a few dollars to share the joy of Christmas giving and start a lifetime love affair with helping kids from around the world.

Judy Rose Judy Rose

Judy is a long-term child sponsor and supporter of World Vision.


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