Eight-year-old Adam collects change
and saves lives
Adam figured out how he could make a difference.
While eight-year-old Adam waited in the first room of the REAL. LIFE. exhibit for the rest of his family to join him, he was drawn by the blinking light that reminds us: Every 4.6 seconds a child dies from a preventable illness. Blink. He thought about it. Blink. Another child dies. Blink. From a preventable illness. Blink.
As he proceeded through other vignettes in the exhibit, he saw another blinking light. Every 4.6 seconds a child dies from a preventable illness. Blink.
The needs of the people he and his family met in the exhibit were very real. But what could he do? He is only a kid.
But then, in one of the final rooms of the exhibit, he saw the banner: “I’m only one person, but I can make a difference.”
He looked at the options for how people could make a difference and decided he could give. He took a “$15 Can Make a Difference” card that told him that $15 could:
- Treat and protect one child from malaria in Africa.
- Give warm clothing, food and toys to 2 Romanian orphans at Christmas.
- Send medicines needed to treat 56 disaster victims for a month.
- Provide chickens for eggs and meat for one family in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Support a Bible club for children living in a Mexico garbage dump.
I can do that, Adam decided. I can make a difference.
When Adam returned home, he started to collect change. His parents had bought him a digital coin-counting Amazing Money Jar Bank at the Discovery Channel store, and every time he put a coin through the slit in the lid, the LCD announced the total. First $1.12. Then $3.62. Every day he got closer to his $15 goal.
Adam learned that malaria can kill people. But his $15 could keep a child alive. He could prevent a death. He could stop that light from blinking—at least once.
When he finally reached $15, he realized he didn’t want to stop. If $15 would treat one child who had malaria, then $30 could keep two children alive.
Adam enlisted the help of his family, who gave him their change too. Every day the amount on the lid of the bank grew: $32.15 . . . $45.87 . . . $66.38 . . . until the jar was full: $101.36.
Adam was so pleased. His jar of change could save the lives of seven children who have malaria. He emptied his jar and sent the money to Medical Teams International, who will use it to save the lives of African children who need treatment for malaria.
Adam and his dad recently spoke to his class about his coin-collecting project and inspired other kids to collect money for Medical Teams International, as well.
He's already filling his bank again, knowing the money will save children's lives. In just a few months, Adam has collected $334.65.
Even though I’m only a kid, Adam realized, I can make a difference.
Send us your I Can Make a Difference stories about how you, your school, youth group, or family is making a difference.
I'm only one person, but I can make a difference!