A SEVEN YEAR OLD GETS COURAGEOUS FOR A CAUSE
When Alissa Schaly saw last year’s “Gifts for Change” FH catalogue, she picked out 22 gifts to purchase — everything from rabbits to desks to organic fertilizer training courses. When she presented her selection to her parents, it was a whopping $1,170 worth of items.
Parents Albert and Bonita Schaly of Bowen Island, BC explained to Alissa that her list was a little too expensive for them to fund, but encouraged her to raise the money herself.
She proceeded to collect all her own money, and asked her parents to put the money they would have spent on her Christmas gifts towards her goal. Then the seven year old asked her parents if they could announce the fundraising goal at their church.
The caretaker at the church remembered that there was a jar of coins that had been in the closet for a few years, and thought it may as well go to Alissa. That began the coin drive, but it was only the beginning.
Alissa shocked her parents by asking to present about FH Canada for her Sunday school class. Although quiet and soft-spoken, her passion for the gifts was starting to catch people’s attention.
Soon the elders at her church had decided to put the quarterly benevolent offering toward Alissa’s goal. The pastor asked if she would give a short talk in front of the congregation to explain her goal. She agreed, and her parents helped her prepare what she wanted to say.
To the surprise of the whole congregation, shy little Alissa took the stage that Sunday and gave a short but articulate speech. Inspired by her drive to fund the
22 gifts, the church responded in a big way, giving more than twice the amount of a normal benevolent offering.
Combined with the coin jars she had at her school and at several businesses around town, she realized she had raised $2,152.82 — enough to add the thousand-dollar Stock-a-Stable item for a total of 23 gifts — the second-highest amount of gifts given from the catalogue in 2011!