World Vision donor Rachel Britz has established a family tradition of giving with her children, each choosing a Gift Catalog item to give every year. “This is going to be our family’s legacy,” she says.
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“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” —1 John 4:11 (NIV)
A family’s legacy
When she was 11 years old, Rachel Britz organized a carnival in her yard as a fundraiser to help children with muscular dystrophy. Her mom helped her find sponsors and set up pony rides, and at the end of the day she had raised $600.
“As a child, I had such a burden of compassion for kids in need,” says Rachel. “I think that every single one of us, God places certain burdens on our hearts, or calls us into all sorts of different ways we can serve Him, and this is one that has been placed on me since I was a very young child.”
Today, as a mother of three, a small business owner, and a writer, Rachel’s compassion for the poor and children in need has only deepened. Her family has been sponsoring children through World Vision for years, currently sponsoring three children from Myanmar, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rachel also helped her best friend, Jill Hass, launch a music festival called Livestock that raises money to donate animals and other items through World Vision’s Gift Catalog. And her family regularly donates to the Gift Catalog, each child getting to pick their own gift.
“This is going to be our family’s legacy,” says Rachel.
For their Gift Catalog gifts this year, Rachel’s youngest daughter, Perah, 8, picked out chicks and ducks; her son, Walker, 10, picked out a goat; and her 15-year-old daughter, Lily, who recently became a vegetarian, picked out fruit trees. Rachel wants her children to care about the poor, but she also knows she needs to let them figure it out in their own way.
“I don’t think you really know the impact of things you’re trying to instill in your children until they’re older. That’s what legacy is really about,” says Rachel. “It’s not so much about fully understanding right now, but trying to live each day accordingly, and the rest will show itself later.”
Rachel also knows that she can’t fully realize the impact of her donations, her acts of kindness, or the animals she provides through the Gift Catalog. “This side of heaven, we won’t know what we’ve done. There’s something about that that I love. There’s this ambiguous gift,” says Rachel. “It gives me something to look forward to in the fulfillment of everything.”
Rachel is grateful to World Vision for giving her an easy and effective way to respond to her burden for children in need. “With World Vision in particular, you’re not having to go out and develop the program, run the business, figure out how to feed and care for that child, but you can take the burden and in your heart and come alongside and say this is what I’m passionate about,” says Rachel.
“I believe God is using that burden he has placed on my heart. And here is World Vision who also shares that burden, and I can give to them knowing that I’m in partnership with whatever it is that God can do through that financial gift.”
“It makes me feel like my life has a purpose, a meaning.”
At the top: Rachel with her family. (Photo: Emily Neubarth/Essence Photography)
From our Gift Catalog: Give seeds for one family! Your gift offers life-changing help for farmers struggling to raise enough food for their hungry children: fast-growing hybrid or drought-resistant seeds for an agricultural bounty of crops.