I am so touched by the many kind ways people choose to bring the Loaves & Fishes mission to life. People help in whatever way they can, and it all makes a difference. But when the gift comes from a child, I find myself especially moved and most likely in tears. Meet little Piper. This year for her third birthday, she asked friends and family to give $3 to Loaves & Fishes instead of buying a gift for her. This child brings joy wherever she goes. Her compassionate mother Liza began teaching such generosity from the very beginning with her older sister, Teagan. It continues every year for every birthday. “We are blessed to partner with such an important mission,” Liza said.
For Piper’s first birthday, they asked people to contribute cereal for the families at Loaves & Fishes – dozens of boxes of cereal were contributed. A year later, Piper asked for feminine hygiene products for the women who come to Loaves & Fishes, and bags and bags of much-needed items were received. Knowing how cost-effective our cooperative buying power is, this year they suggested donating $3 to Loaves & Fishes in honor of Piper’s third birthday. And on her actual birthday, she came to Loaves & Fishes with those gifts. So what can $3 do? We can purchase $8 worth of food for every dollar contributed – every $3 gift buys $24 of food.
In addition to celebrating a darling little girl’s birthday, such generosity results in food for struggling families. Even more, it reminds everyone that each contribution counts, and counts mightily. But perhaps most important, Piper’s generosity results in hope, something worth more than anything. Many thanks to Piper, the Schramm family, and all who contributed for turning a birthday celebration into a celebration of hope.