Stephanie and Christopher Wilson consider themselves lucky; they have a roof over their heads, good jobs, and two healthy daughters, Madeline, 10, and Lydia, 8. As they talked about the upcoming holiday season as a family, they realized there’s nothing they really “need” but know that’s not the case for many others, which sparked an idea — and the start of a new family tradition.
Each daughter was given two $10 gift certificates to Global Giving so they could choose a cause they wanted to support to help others. Low and behold, Warrior Canine Connection was one of the selections for Lydia. An animal-lover, she selected WCC and a second organization that supports horses.
“It felt good because it was the gift that mommy was giving us to give to something else, so it felt the gift was to give, and I feel like giving is sometimes better than receiving,” said Lydia. “It just felt good to help out and I hope I get to do it again next year.”
Her sister, Madeline, knew she wanted to do something to help children, so she selected a food bank and a second organization that supports rescue dogs.
“It was my first time, but it was exciting and also hard because there are so many great causes I wanted to support,” said Madeline. “It was really nice … I’ve made presents and gotten presents before, but it felt really nice to give something to someone or an animal that really needed it. I mean, I just felt it was really nice to be part of something that was helping people.”
Pretty sage words for 8 and 10-year-olds. And mom Stephanie, couldn’t be prouder.
“They were really excited, it was really cool, they were very excited about looking through the different nonprofits and were really interested in watching the videos and learning about different organizations,” said Stephanie. “Lydia turned to me and said ‘mama, this really was a cool present.’ This was definitely a winner, and we will keep doing this.”
The fact that they both chose animal-related organizations came as no surprise to Stephanie, as they have a well-loved 4.5-year-old Lab, Skye, at home.
“He is cute … and he wags his tail all the time, even when he’s throwing up,” shared Lydia. (Side note: Mom explained through laughter that Skye is perfectly healthy and rarely gets sick but that some things just stick out in children’s minds.)
Madeline added, “I think he [Skye] has a very cute, very sweet personality … he’s loving and sweet but also a little bit bumbling. He’s a Lab, he loves his people and his food.”
Of course, both Madeline and Lydia are also excited about another annual tradition — Santa’s upcoming visit. Judging by their interest in helping others, it’s safe to say both of them will be on his “nice list.”
End-of-year giving of any amount makes a huge impact for many nonprofits, including WCC. All donations are tax-deductible and help WCC breed, train and provide highly skilled assistance dogs to wounded Veterans and Military Families at absolutely no cost to them. If you would like to follow the Wilsons’ lead, and start your own year-end giving tradition, visit https://warriorcanineconnection.org/get-involved/donate/