Giving back: lessons from a 6-year-old

By Beth Morrison, HAVEN President & CEO

This past weekend at the annual Morrison holiday gathering, my nephew shared a story about his son that really touched my heart and I’d like to share it with you.

Grant had just celebrated his 6th birthday, where he had received $4.00 as a gift.  At the same time, his school was participating in a donation drive for the “needy.”  He asked his dad, Josh, what all of this meant, why were they giving presents to someone they didn’t know.  Josh gave Grant his first lesson on philanthropy, the importance of giving to those who have a need greater than oneself. Grant went into his bedroom and brought out his $4.00, the only money of his own that he had, and gave it to Josh, saying he wanted to help too.


Some of the many donations at Gift Giveaway

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to spend a short period of time with some volunteers at HAVEN’s annual Gift Giveaway. The volunteers were sorting donations and preparing for HAVEN clients to come and receive items for their children and their household during this holiday season. While we were sorting, members of our community were stopping to drop of donations, from carloads to a small bag with one toy.  All in the spirit of giving – just like Grant with his $4.00 contribution.

During this time of giving, we have a time of great need. Our shelter is literally bursting with 52 women and children in residence with us. From a two-week-old to a 17-year-old and nearly every age in between; 39 children spent Hanukkah and Christmas with HAVEN. And after the holidays end, there will be hundreds more children come and go from the HAVEN shelter in 2012 as well as hundreds in our non-residential programs. All waiting for someone to help them find hope for the future.  Thankfully we will be there to do just that.

As important as it is to give during the season of giving, please remember the needs run deep throughout the year. Consider making the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence a priority in 2012.


If you choose to make a gift prior to December 31, it will count toward your 2011 taxes. Make your gift online today, or contact our development staff if you have any questions, (248) 334-1284 ext. 341.

Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!

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