Recently, Rick Mann, a supporter of Disciples’ Village, contacted us with an idea. His birthday was coming up and he wanted to do something unique to celebrate. Rick asked if he could invite his friends and family to give to Disciples’ Village in lieu of giving him gifts.
I saw the idea on another website to Give Away Your Birthday and I loved the idea. I have plenty. I don’t need or want anything that would be more important than sending money to a ministry I trust completely to make a difference for as many people and for as far as the dollar will go.
We were blessed by Rick’s desire to bless others and excitedly worked with him to develop a special “Birthday Giving Page” on the DV website where people could give gifts in his honor. Seeing Rick’s generosity was a special treat, but it was also humbling to see the generosity of his friends and family as monetary gifts came in. We know the impact those gifts have on the lives of those we serve.
When we asked Rick about what led him to leverage his birthday in order to support ministry in Haiti, this is what he had to say:
“We have plenty here in the US. Our kids don’t have to pay for school through the 12th grade. In fact, a school bus will pick them up and drop them off. In Haiti it costs over $300 per year to send a child to school. They are required to wear uniforms and walk or hitch a ride on a tap tap to get them there and back. When you ask a parent there, “How can I pray for you?” and in the midst of the conversation you notice they are living on the side of a mountain, their restroom is a shallow hole in the ground, no running water, no electric, cooking over charcoal, with a blue tarp propped up by sticks and held down by rocks as their home, it’s not difficult to realize that $300 is a lot of money for them for education. Then the response to the question comes (which by the way was the same every time we asked it), “Pray that I can get a job so that I can send my children to school.”
Education is a big part of what we do in the villages we partner with in Haiti. Money raised through initiatives like Rick’s Birthday Giving helps Disciples’ Village change lives through education and village advancement. And knowing that we have supporters who pray for and invest in this ministry on an ongoing basis strengthens our efforts, and gives us the fuel needed to continue changing lives.
Rick has been involved with the ministry of Alex’s House and Disciples Village since it’s beginning in 2010:
“I met Bill Howard (founder) through Fairview Baptist church in Russell springs, Kentucky where I was pastor. During the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, Bill sent out an email to friends as a prayerful plea for help. The Holy Spirit moved in my heart as I read the email and I became attached to AH before we knew the name. The following July (2010) I made my first trip and fell deeper in love with the people, the children, and Haiti. I have lived the prayers of Bill’s heart related to God’s direction for the ministry. Watching God lead us to the existing [campus] location was nothing short of miraculous. Just as watching the vision for Disciples Village unfold has been nothing short of the miraculous inspiration of God. I’m sure that Alex is watching from the banister of Heaven with great Joy at what God has done and is doing.”
We are thrilled to share that over $7,000 was donated to the ministry of Disciples’ Village through Rick’s “Give Away Your Birthday” initiative!
Giving to the “least of these” is a special kind of blessing. Thank you for supporting ministry in Haiti in Rick’s honor. And a special “Thank You!” to Rick for Giving Away His Birthday in order to benefit needy people in Haiti.
If you are interested in “Giving Away Your Birthday” or a similar effort, contact our PR director, Beth Lawrence.