A legacy of sharing is one of our multi-generational family goals.
One way we live out our legacy of sharing is an annual family experience when each grandchild is given the opportunity to choose a non-profit or ministry about which he or she cares deeply and/or volunteers. Each grandchild writes a letter to the organization, explaining his/her interest and experience with the services it provides.
When our family gathers on Christmas Day, our most anticipated tradition is listening to each grandchild tell about his/her choice of philanthropic giving.
As years go by, generations of our family will continue our legacy of sharing by giving to organizations with missions for which family
members have passion.
-Mike and Patty Lowe
Included below are the eight letters from Mike and Patty’s grandchildren as part of their “Give $100, Get $100” tradition of Christmas 2020.
Transcription provided with permission of grandparents. Names of minors withheld for their privacy.
My name is ____________, I am from Huntsville, AL and I’m 15 years old.
Every year my grandparents give me and all my cousins $100 to donate to a nonprofit of our choice that we want to help achieve their mission. This year, I decided to give to you, 350.ORG, because of your work to stand against the fossil fuel industry as you try to make cleaner energy sources.
We need cleaner energy sources because our world is dying way faster than it should be. Being a part of the youngest generation who has to stick with the earth the longest, we all need to work to fix all the past generations’ mistakes. So, with the $100 I am donating to 350.ORG, I am hoping to help you reach your goal.
Dear Boys and Girls Club,
Hello! My name is ___________. I have been given $100 to give to the non-profit of my choice and I have selected you, the Boys and Girls Club.
I have selected the Boys and Girls Club because of the difference that you are making with the kids in today’s society. Because of the B&G Club more kids are getting involved in the community through school and other extracurricular activities. I am donating my money to you to help the Boys and Girls Clubs continue to provide the help that some kids need in today’s world.
Donating to this charity is something I am happy about doing because I am an advocate for helping children with what they need. School is important for anything someone does in life, and I think the way that the Boys and Girls Club is there for each and every one of the kids that attends is amazing. You are there and help each kid achieve their potential, not only in school but also in sports.
The Boys and Girls Club gives kids an opportunity to be apart of a team – what ever sport it may be, and that is important to me because going out for sports and being with friends is one of my favorite things about life.
Dear First Stop,
This year, for my “Give $100, Get $100” from my grandparents, I will be donating to First Stop.
As of April 2020, there were around 561 homeless people living in Huntsville. This year especially it is vital to donate and help the homeless out.
Due to COVID, many people lost their jobs. Too many people are living on a thread. Some people are barely able to pay their bills and they lose necessary things they need for living in the world today.
During this last summer and fall, I went down to Fractal and Trinity Church many times and helped pack food for the homeless. After packing meals for homeless people, I really hope that whoever they are, they will enjoy having food and that it will help them to get help and eventually do better in their life.
I do understand that some people are chronically homeless and it might be harder for some than others in picking themselves back up again.
I want this $100 to be used in a way that helps keep people going. With COVID limitations it seems it might be more difficult to bring this $100 to perfect use, but hopefully, it will help people get back on their feet so they can be healthy and independent again.
This Christmas, I am choosing Church of the Highlands for my Christmas gift donation.
Church of the Highlands (COH) has helped many people all over Alabama, America, and the rest of the world. From food banks to Christmas presents for the less fortunate to COVID testing, Church of the Highlands has touched people’s lives everywhere. COH is able to fund the church on less than 10% of their donations; therefore, 90% of donations are given away to the above mentioned and even more.
COH has helped to start/plant more than 900 churches all over the US with their ARC program, and one of the biggest things in their mission programs is to translate bibles into languages that don’t have Bibles yet.
Church of the Highlands has helped me a lot with my anxiety this year and it has helped me grow closer to God. Even just yesterday at the Christmas Eve service, I feel as though I made a friend – a friend in the Holy Spirit.
Church of the Highlands has great intentions as a church and I am so happy I go there.
Like my parents, I want to use this gift as a tithe to begin my tithing journey.
My name is ___________, and I am a 19-year-old college sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama. Every Christmas, my grandparents have each of their eight grandkids choose a non-profit organization to donate $100.
This year I have decided to donate to IDONTMIND for all this organization has done for my mental health journey. 2020 has not been easy for anyone, and many people have had mental health struggles this year.
I have been following IDONTMIND since its founding in 2017. Because of IDONTMIND, I got the courage to talk about my mental health and my struggles with my grandmother and my parents, and how I wanted to go to therapy.
I have now been in therapy for six months and have been diagnosed with social and general anxiety disorders and depression. It hasn’t been easy. I still have bad days, but I am a firm believer in being truthful and open about how you are feeling. If it is possible, I believe that everyone should go to therapy or at least have someone to talk to.
IDONTMIND was the organization that helped me come to that thought process and helps me with my mental health almost every day with your journaling articles and prompts. Through IDONTMIND, I got into journaling, which has been great for my brain and mental health and how I think about everything.
Dear Marine Mammal Center,
Hello! My name is __________. I am twelve years old and live in Huntsville, Alabama. I have always been an animal lover, and I have been very interested in marine animals lately. A couple years ago, my family and I went on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. We went to the Georgia Aquarium and I got to see so many sea animals and it was amazing. We also were able to see the sea lion show, and after that, I fell in love with them. I believe that the oceans need to be treated better, and I love how you are rescuing and caring for the animals in it.
Each year, my grandparents ask all of my cousins and me to choose a nonprofit organization we are interested in to donate $100 to. This year I chose you, The Marine Mammal Center! On Christmas Day when our big family is all together, we cousins each tell our story about why we chose our organization and what it does to impact our world. Then our grandparents give us $100, too!
I got to teach my family how The Marine Mammal Center advances global ocean conservation through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education, and how human activities threaten marine ecosystems which are very important to the health of our oceans and all life on earth. Since 1975, the Marine Mammal Center has rescued over 24,000 animals along the coasts of California and Hawaii. They develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care, and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. I think it is very interesting also how The Marine Mammal Center investigates how marine mammals interact with their ocean environment to better understand and protect them from threats.
I think it is amazing what you guys do. I truly believe that if we all work together as a community, we can really make a difference in the world. Thank you for all that you do, and I hope my $100 helps you to keep helping marine mammals, their ecosystems and our world healthy and safe.
Hello! My name is _____. I am 10 years old and in fourth grade.
Each Christmas my grandparents give me and each of my cousins a hundred dollars to give to a helping company. Then after we tell the big family what helping company we have chosen and why, we get a hundred dollars.
This year I chose the Riley Behavioral and Education Center because when I was in first and second grade, I had this guy named ____ in my class and he had autism.
I was not his friend because I did not understand why he acted the way he did. But now since I do understand autism better, I feel really bad for not being his friend.
____ left our school in 3rd grade, but sometimes he still comes to our school to pick up his sister who is in 8th grade. Now I say hi to ____ and I hope we can be friends.
That is my story of choosing the Riley Behavioral and Education Center to give my $100 to this year. I hope it can help friends like ____.
Hi! My name is _______ and each year our grandparents give us $100 to donate to an organization we want to help.
This year I chose the Innocence Project because during my senior year of high school, I took forensics as a science class. In this class we studied many things and one of them was DNA. In the DNA unit we did a whole project dedicated to learning about the false imprisonment of people and how the Innocence Project is helping these people get released because of new developments in DNA testing.
I chose to donate to the Innocence Project because I feel very strongly about false imprisonment, especially in the black and brown community. After doing some research I realized the majority of people the Innocence Project has helped is black males. With Black Lives Matter being so prevalent in society in 2020, I wanted to help in many ways. So this year I have used my platforms to speak out about police brutality and systemic racism.
The Innocence Project is the perfect organization that involves a lot of those things in helping to bring justice and equality for black and brown people of America! I am so happy you guys have been able to save so many accused and incarcerated people and I can’t wait to see your organization save even more.
I hope this donation helps.