My son-in-law was diagnosed with cancer May 25, 2007 and died August 27, 2007 leaving a five year-old daughter. During his last three months, he set up trusts for my daughter and granddaughter, Kylie. His desire was that each year on her birthday, Kylie would receive a birthday card from him with a check to keep his memory alive and for her to always be reminded of his love and of his desire to care for her.
As he became weaker and my daughter more exhausted with his care, I asked him if I could have the honor of picking out those cards for him. He granted me that privilege and I chose a card for each of Kylie’s birthdays until age 21, plus two graduation cards, a wedding card and a first baby card. Together, we developed three ways for her to use the portions of money she would receive each year – she would be taught to use the money to make the world a better place, buy herself something special, and invest for college.
Kylie turned six years old just two weeks after her daddy died. I was privileged to present her with her daddy’s first birthday gift from the trust. The money was in $10.00 bills. I took one of three stacks and told her that her daddy wanted her to use it to make the world a better place. We then went to the computer to look for ways in which she could do this. One of the sites we looked at was Nothing but Nets.
After looking at the various sites, she took the task very seriously of deciding which organizations she wanted to help by donating the money from her daddy. She moved the bills around until she decided whom she could help and how much to give each organization. She chose three organizations — one of which was Nothing but Nets. She decided to donate enough of her money to buy nine bed nets to prevent malaria and save the lives of African children and their families.
After she made her decision, we recorded in a notebook the date, her age, whom she helped, how much she saved for college and what she bought for herself. I then gave her the birthday card from her daddy. When we were finished, I asked her what part she liked the best and she answered, “Making the world a better place.”
I want to share this story because I feel that all children should be taught the importance of making the world a better place. It took her daddy’s illness and death to give an idea of how to do it, but think how different the world would be if all children were taught at an early age to make the world a better place. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to someday have a world of adults who learned at an early age to try and improve the world for others and who taught their children and grandchildren the same lesson?