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    Posted December 20, 2010 by
    Denver, Colorado

    5 year old donates her Christmas gifts to Children's Hospital


    From: www.tenleyhollman.com


    How to learn about giving through the actions of a 5-year-old

    It didn't start out as charity.

    It started out as a 5-year-old girl who wanted a present for Christmas many weeks in advance of the holiday.

    The deal we made with her was that she was to save up the money herself   for an American Girl Doll (I believe she may actually have been told   that Santa doesn't bring American Girl Dolls, but that's not relevant to   the story).  So for about 5 months our daughter saved up her money to   purchase an American Girl Doll -- she saved her allowance, she did  extra  chores for extra allowance, and she even tried to get creative  with the  change from purchases that she made with our money.  A few  weeks ago  she had saved up $97.00, only $3.00 short of the approximate  $100.00  that it takes to get one of the dolls with tax.

    Before she got so close to her goal, I had been listening to some   Anthony Robbins tapes.  I'll paraphrase one of his keys to wealth and   happiness with the following 3 points:

    1. Give with no expectation of receiving anything in return; do it because it feels good.
    2. Give when its hardest for you to do so -- when it's hardest is the best time to give.
    3. Give away a percentage (10% is what he recommends) of your money to reset your brain that there is actually enough.

    I shared this recording with my wife and then we chatted about it   further on a ski lift.  At some point we we got to talking about how   close my daughter was to her savings goal and that's when I put them   together: how cool would it be if we could get my daughter to take her   nearly $100.00 and, instead of buying the doll for herself, use the   money to purchase the doll for someone else?  And not just anyone else,   but perhaps a little girl that was unfortunately having to spend the   holidays in the Denver Children's Hospital (note that we already do some   charity with the Ronald McDonald House at the Denver Children's   Hospital already as a family, so this wasn't too much of an out-of   the-blue benefactor).

    In thinking through it a little more, we decided that we needed a little   bit more of a carrot for our daughter, so I proposed that we match her   nearly-$100.00 with $100.00 of our own money (in cash, of course) for   her to buy a second doll, but that she had to also give that doll to   someone in the hospital.  Remember that as you get older, it's easier to   follow Robbins' advice, but for a 5-year-old that has saved for many   months, the prospect of giving up all that hard-earned money was likely   to be a bit of a challenge.

    So, armed with the plan, we took our daughter out to lunch and near the   conclusion of her cheeseburger, we simply threw out the idea of her   buying a doll for a girl in the hospital with her money.  Her initial   reaction was that she wanted to use her money to buy herself a doll at   Christmas and then she would save to buy another doll for a girl in the   hospital -- a pretty remarkable response from someone so young, if you   think about it.  We spent some more time explaining to her about how   there will people in need and that it wouldn't be any fun to be in the   hospital at Christmas.  Then we threw the offer of the matching funds   out there and pointed out that because Santa was paying extra attention   this time of year, she could score some major "nice list" points.   After  weighing that internally, the 5-year-old got pretty excited --  she was  on-board.

    Due to the nature of the timing of everything, my wife took my daughter   to the American Girl store to pick out the 2 dolls.  While there, our   daughter took the opportunity to inform the manager of what she was   doing -- apparently the manager almost cried.

    Following that, my wife posted the following on her Facebook account:

    I am so proud of my 5 year old kiddo. She saved up all year   to buy an American Girl doll....and when she finally had the $100...she   decided to buy the doll and donate it to Children's Hospital of  Denver.  We matched her donation so next week we will deliver two  American Girl  dolls to the hospital and hopefully give them directly to  two little  girls. I'm speechless that I have raised such a cool kid.

    And   following that, others that wanted to participate started leaving   messages.  I started telling the story to people as well ... and they   started handing me cash wanting to participate.  So, at this point --   we're at 7 dolls and counting (not including the $100.00 that was   provided by someone for a gift for a boy).

    We've been in touch with the Children's Hospital and our daughter will   be delivering everything during the middle part of next week, so that   the families of the kids that will receive them will have them in-hand   prior to the holidays.

    Thanks to everyone for your generosity and willingness to participate in   not only the worthy spirit of giving with no expectation of anything  in  return, but also in teaching our daughter an important lesson.

    PS -- if you find yourself inspired to participate in giving something   to someone, I certainly hope that you do.  If you find yourself   particularly inspired to participate with us, and that certainly wasn't   the point of this post

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