Friday, December 6, 2013

This Year's Gift

Each year in memory of Eliza, we make a donation to some kind of charity.  Last year it was Living Water International.  The year before it was a specific project that a friend of mine was working on through the Peace Corps.

This year we made a microloan to a woman in Pakistan named Saira, who is working to grow her husband's furniture shop.  I read about this organization, Kiva, on another blogger's website and clicked over to find out more.  Kiva connects with people who are struggling and makes it possible for them to achieve personal and professional goals.  You can make microloans in any amount (starting at $25) to help people purchase laptops for higher education, retail merchandise for small businesses, home construction materials, agricultural necessities, etc.  How did I choose Saira?  Honestly, I got a little overwhelmed with all the options so I chose a woman whose name has five letters and ends in "a."  How diplomatic, right?

The idea behind the website is that the loans are precisely that--loans that the borrowers will eventually repay.  I chose to do a dedicated loan in memory of Eliza, so when the borrower repays her loan, my portion of it will be dedicated back to Kiva so the organization can continue to do this work.  But the idea is that you could loan money to someone and then when they pay you back, you can turn around and loan it to someone else (it goes in and out of your paypal account).

It's important to me to do small acts of kindness in memory of Eliza.  But the truth is that I wish that I were making a microloan to this woman and then turning around and ordering books and puzzles and clothes in size 3T or 4T.  I wish that I were complaining about how close Eliza's birthday is to Christmas because she's going to get too many gifts.  I wish that we were celebrating her birthday with ice cream and a cake with three candles instead of standing outside in the dark, holding candles while it snows.

We miss her and we love and this year we keep doing the best we can to honor her memory.  Thanks to all of you who still read here and follow our story and think about Eliza.  Your support means so much to us and it fills up my heart to know that there are so many people who miss her along with us.

P.S. Looking to give this year?  Here are a few other charities we love to support:

Heifer Project International

Stray Rescue St. Louis

Studio Samuel

Save the Children


  1. I don't even know you, but I thought of you and Eliza this morning (as well as my friends' baby, who was born a year ago today but died 2 months later). Thinking of you from Wichita, Kan.

  2. The internet is so powerful.

    I love that the person above commented about not knowing you, but thinking of Eliza on her birthday. I am truly thankful that we have a piece of the Internet to share our children as it's clearly impacting others.

    And I especially love that you choose to care for others in her honor by donating.

    Such good eggs, you Duckworths. :)

    Missing Eliza and loving all four of you with great big HUGS. I'm not a huge hugger, but for reals. Our babies died. You get big hugs.

  3. Brooke, I found your blog yesterday and it is exactly what I need right now. Thank you, SO much, for being so honest and willing to share your life with us. I am thinking of you and Eliza today.

  4. Thinking of and praying for you today, and always.

  5. Thinking of Eliza and grateful for the opportunity to get to know your family through your blog! The things you share make such a difference - it really honors all four you!

  6. That's lovely. I love the loan idea and the empowerment of women piece.

    And of course I love your baby duck and wish she were here being spoiled absolutely rotten.


  7. Brooke, I wish you were doing those things too. I'm thinking of you and David and Zuzu and of course Eliza. Thank you so much for mentioning Studio Samuel. I will make a donation today in Eliza's name. Sending love for her out into the universe.

  8. Brooke, I am thinking of you and Eliza today. I wish that she was here with you! I love your blog - it has really helped me with my own grief. Thanks for writing it.

  9. Thinking of you and Eliza today. Sending love, and big hugs too. I AM a hugger, so you'd get hugs anyway... but today you get them with so much more attached to it.

    I think what you do on Eliza's birthday to honor her is so wonderful. I so wish you were wrapped up in 3T's and 4T's and listening to her chit chat about all the blooming thoughts in her precious little head.

  10. There's been so much good done in this world because of that little girl. Forever wishing she was here, forever thankful she was for a bit.

  11. Eliza is in our hearts today. She is always with you, and because of your blog we know and remember her with you.

  12. Thinking of all of you especially your sweet Eliza. Wishing she were here today too.


  13. A little late, but sending you hugs as you celebrate her third birthday. THIRD? That seems so big!