Three North Carolina children show their love for a world in need by giving “Jesus Loves Me” Lambs from the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog
Sydney, Jude, and their cousin Riley of Wilmington, N.C., visited Samaritan’s Purse earlier this year to donate funds the three of them had raised for more than 100 “Jesus Loves Me” Lambs. A pretty impressive gift from children who still need help tying their shoes.
They came up with the unique gift-giving idea at Rebecca Hennis’ birthday. Rebecca is Sydney and Jude’s mother, and she didn’t want gifts for herself. Instead she decided to take the opportunity to teach the children about the importance of giving to others.
“We’re so blessed to have so much stuff, so I said, ‘Y’all pick out something from the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog that we can send to somebody else that doesn’t have anything,’” she said. “And so they decided to pick out the lamb to send.”
Ruth Bell Graham came up with the idea for a musical stuffed lamb to encourage suffering children with the melody of “Jesus Loves Me.” For just $2, one of these endearing reminders of the Lamb of God is packed in an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift and distributed overseas. “Jesus Loves Me” Lambs are one of 53 gifts found in this year’s online version of the Gift Catalog.
“We talked about the children who live in countries where they might be hearing war outside and they don’t have anything to comfort them and how scared they probably are,” Rebecca said, “And that’s when Jude said he didn’t just want to send one ‘lambie,’ he wanted to send 100 ‘lambies.’”
Sidney started raising money with a lemonade stand. Later, the family sold water and snacks at the Azalea Festival Parade, an annual event in Wilmington. Their last event was a yard sale, which resulted in a final amount of more than $400.
“[People] were giving extra money,” Rebecca said. “I’d try to give them change, and they’d say, ‘No, just keep it since it’s going for the lambs.’”
The children already have plans to raise more money for gifts this Christmas. Sydney and Riley want to contribute to more musical lambs. Jude wants to also make a donation for Sports Gear, another item found in our annual Gift Catalog. For $8 he can supply recreational items to children in developing countries, and turn schoolyards into mission fields where girls and boys learn how to gain real victory in Jesus.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of their lifelong giving to others,” said Rhonda, the children’s grandmother. “It’s good to start them early. We want them to understand that it’s important to give to others because we have a lot.”