Do you remember what you wanted for your 5th birthday? For Isa C., it was helping people who are experiencing homelessness.
“When it was time for Isa’s 5th birthday last spring, we explained to her that we don’t usually do presents but that she could collect for a cause if she wanted,” said Amy, Isa’s mom. “The cause she was most concerned about was homelessness and poverty.”
Some might be surprised that a five-year-old would be concerned about such an intense topic, but not when you learn about her family.
“We have always refrained from having people give our kids gifts at birthday parties because we have enough ‘stuff’ and don’t want more to clutter up our house,” said Amy. “Isa understood that she was going to get gifts that she could open, but that she then had to pass them along to others who needed them.”
The C.'s are long-time supporters of Genesis Home, having donated financially and by bringing meals to our families. When Amy learned that Isa wanted to help families experiencing homelessness through her birthday party, she felt the Barrels of Joy program would be a perfect match. The program is designed to supply items our families need year-round. We provide a colorful hand-painted barrel, informational brochures and tax receipts to make collecting these items for our families fun and easy.
“It’s a great way to get kids involved in giving early in their lives so they understand the importance,” said Amy.
In addition to Barrels of Joy, there are many other ways donors have supported our families. From donating online and through sites like Global Giving to raising money at garage sales to using the workout app “EarndIt” to earn money for Genesis Home, the generosity and resourcefulness of our supporters is why we continue to be able to serve our families.
For Amy and Isa, supporting Genesis Home through Barrels of Joy was as simple as asking for donations in lieu of gifts in the party invitation, which proved to be quite successful. Isa and her friends filled a barrel with supplies for Genesis Home children going to summer camp. When asked how she felt about the experience, Isa said, “I felt good about it. It was good because I have goggles already and other people needed them so they can have fun at camp.”
Isa is a perfect example of how both donations and donors come in all shapes and sizes and that with a little creativity and a lot of heart, anyone can have a tremendous impact on the families we serve.