The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

August 28, 2013

11-year-old's mission is to help Haiti

(Continued)

The collection process got off to a slow start for the Cardinal sixth-grader. First, the school principal and then her church pastor delayed replying to her request for permission to put out a collection can. But Lydia wasn’t about to give up.

“I called the church pastor two days before the Wapello County Regional Fair and asked if it would be OK to put a collection can at the church food booth,” she said.

With a friend’s help, Lydia had HELP 4 HAITI posters explaining the project ready to hang and a decorated red plastic coffee container for donations to put near the cashier at Living Hope Bible Church food booth. Lydia gave a talk at church showing pictures of Haiti that Lindley had given her, resulting in more donations.

Kenny and Sara Lindley, of Blakesburg, recently hand-carried the $780 check to Haiti and brought back photos of the smiling recipients and their goats, as well as personal information, “even their shoe sizes,” Lydia reports.

The children are both 13, in the sixth grade, like English and have several siblings. The money pays for school supplies, books, food, water and maybe uniforms, she explained. “The children get only two meals a day, breakfast and lunch at school, no dinner.”

“Kenny and Sara have been wonderful to work with, keeping Lydia informed,” commented Gina, Lydia’s mother.

Lydia loves to thumb through the photo album recalling the stories the Lindleys have told concerning various pictures. One of her favorites is about a birthday party for a 98-year-old man.

“Kenny told him they would have a party for this 100th birthday, but the man asked, 'What if I don’t live to be 100?' 'Then we’ll have a party right now,' Sara said, and they went out and bought everything for a birthday party,” Lydia giggles. Her pictures prove a joyful celebration complete with balloons and a party hat for the beaming old gentleman.

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