We know we’re not supposed to have favorites – but how adorable is Frankie? She had her first birthday a while back. And with a tad of help from her family, she celebrated that very special milestone by raising enough money to send three girls to school!
Frankie is still a bit young to know this, but in her big extended family giving something up to help others is part of the family tradition. Frankie’s mum, Mikaela, remembers her own 8th birthday party when her mum donated the money for her cake to charity – and instead put eight candles on a big piece of watermelon.
‘At the time, I was absolutely mortified having to blow out the candles on my watermelon ‘cake’ in front of all of my friends’ Mikaela remembers.
There was an upside though. She learned an important life lesson about not caring too much what other people think – especially when it comes to being compassionate. And now she’s a mum herself, Mikaela and her husband Leigh are keen to instill that same strong sense of social justice in their own family.
‘We want to raise Frankie to be aware that others mightn’t have the opportunities and resources to lead happy, healthy, and safe lives. We want her to know you can’t take those things for granted – and to feel motivated and confident to give back and help others.’
For Mikaela and Leigh, One Girl’s I Don’t Want A Present platform was a perfect way for family and friends to do something special to celebrate Frankie’s birthday. Not only did they raise money together to support a great cause, but the whole approach sat well with Micaela’s strong sense of environmental responsibility:
‘… the final destination of many of the presents given to kids is landfill. The idea of Frankie receiving oodles of presents that she will outgrow, all wrapped in wrapping paper that’s only used once, didn’t sit well with me.’
Mikaela has been passionate about the work of One Girl since she watched The Girl Effect’s video, The Clock Is Ticking, a few years back. She said she was ‘blown away’ by the challenges faced by girls in developing countries – and the massive impact education can have on improving lives, families, and communities.
‘As a woman, I felt compelled to help, and now as a mother of a daughter, I wanted to support other families to keep their daughters safe and provide them with opportunities. So we looked for a charity that supported girls in the most at-risk countries and I was instantly impressed with the passion, strategy, outcomes, business model and transparency of One Girl.’
The decision to dedicate Frankie’s birthday to educating girls in Africa was a wonderful success. Friends and family were super supportive of the idea. And one of the flow-on benefits was that it gave people a great context for talking with their kids about being grateful, socially responsible, and helping others.
‘It is amazing, we couldn’t be happier with the result. Knowing that Frankie and her family and friends have supported 3 girls to access education and that this will have a genuine impact on their lives and families is truly incredible. And it was possible all because Frankie went without a few more toys, books, and clothes to add to her cupboards – how amazing!’
At the tender age of one, Frankie already has some serious fundraising form! Or at least she has been the star of a wonderful family celebration that, in her name, has helped girls get the education they deserve. Obviously it’s going to be quite a while before she understands what all that means. But by the time she reaches the age when her mum was blowing out candles on her watermelon ‘cake’, Frankie will know for certain that she can make a difference in the world. Because she will have been doing it all her life!