Family TraditionsRich Stigall
Traditions. Most families have them.
Some traditions, like whether the Thanksgiving meal is ham or turkey, or whether presents are opened Christmas Eve or Christmas day, are based on preference. Others are more substantive. Over time, these traditions can actually develop and define a family’s DNA. Want an example? Meet the Gates.
Two years ago at a local elementary school, Austin Gates (now almost 12) heard Joe Knittig speak about orphan care. Moved to action, Austin decided to ask his friends to participate in a different kind of birthday party. Instead of giving him gifts, they could give to a child in need by supporting The Global Orphan Project and give they did. Austin’s sister, Olivia, was watching, and a tradition was born.
This year, for Olivia’s 9th, she and 20 of her buddies partied at Mercury Gymnastics. What did Olivia get for her birthday? She and her friends received the joy of knowing that they provided meals, a safe place to sleep, the care of a house momma, access to education, medical care, and the Good News of Jesus Christ for a year to a child probably around their age. What’s that worth? Enough to make Olivia say, “I’m definitely doing this again next year.” (Austin’s next GO Project Birthday party is this Sunday.)
And, what’s a family tradition worth that plants generosity and a love for others deep in the hearts of your children? If you really want to know, you can ask the Gates a few years from now…or better yet, you can start such a tradition in your own family.
Olivia, thanks to you and all your friends, the life of a child who needs friends will be blessed!
Happy Birthday, Champ! Your Friends at GO Project