The Sparkle Box {Inspiring a Legacy of Generosity}

Posted By on Jul 9, 2014 | 0 comments


in Advocacy, Featured Stories - 5 min read by Guest Blogger

The Sparkle Box {Inspiring a Legacy of Generosity}

Darlene Collazo

Writer of {In Pursuit}
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It happened without us realizing it. It began with a Sparkle Box and one simple prayer during Christmas time of 2012. In the middle of a layoff, with life spinning wildly around us, God set us on a life-transforming course.

“May this Christmas Sparkle Box, our gift to Jesus, be the start of a Revolution of Generosity in the hearts of our children and in our home. May this small lesson in giving multiply itself in the hands of Jesus, a Revolution of Generosity turned into a Revolution of Love.”

Darlene Collazo - In Pursuit

With two paychecks remaining before my husband’s last day of work, Christmas gifts and parties lost their luster. There were more important things. All of a sudden our focus was back on Jesus where it should have been from the beginning.

I bought a shiny red box from the Dollar Tree store. Putting a red bow on it and slicing a slot on the lid, I hoped and prayed my children’s hearts would be open and receptive. Come Christmas Eve, we baked some cookies, and sat down next to the bare tree to read the story of Jesus’ birth. We talked about giving to Jesus. After all, it was His birth we were celebrating. I then read Matthew 25:42-45 to them and when I finished the unexpected happened. My stepson took out a gift card he had in his pocket. He wanted to ‘give to Jesus’. My daughter went upstairs and brought down all the change she could find. She wanted to give to Jesus too!

At the end of the month we opened up the Sparkle Box, counted the money inside, and we all decided how we’d give. Using catalogs from different non-profit organizations, we bought clothing, chickens, rabbits, and Bibles for people and children on the other side of the world. Our hearts and souls were full. It was one of the most meaningful and beautiful Christmases we’ve ever experienced.

Long after the tree was put away, the Sparkle Box remained sitting on our table. We kept the tradition going. Anyone could put money into it at any time. At the end of the month we’d sit together to open it. We’d count it all and decide how we’d give to Jesus.

Over and over God has used this simple box to grow our hearts in faith, in vision, in hope, and to cultivate in us an international concern.

One poignant memory of this was during a conversation with my daughter.

“Mommy, I want a Sparkle Box that reaches all the way to the ceiling. I want one so big we need a ladder to climb to the top!”

One look at those sparkling, big, brown eyes and I knew she was completely serious. Her smile revealed two dimples, one on either side. Her enthusiasm, her delight, and her big dreams revealed her generous heart.

“Wow, a Sparkle Box that reaches to the ceiling, eh?! That would be amazing. What would we do with a Sparkle Box that big?”

“We could help all the poor children, Mommy. We can get all of them food and clothes.”

Lord, I thought, ‘Give me that kind of faith. Give us a Sparkle Box so big we need a ladder to climb to the top!’

There are so many stories I could share about how this Sparkle Box has cultivated a heart for giving in our family. The list goes on and on.

After months of use and handling, our little cardboard box began breaking at the seams. And somehow, we found ourselves breaking at the seams as well. Our hearts were filled and overflowing. We knew we wanted giving and generosity to be a part of our family legacy. We weren’t ready to get rid of the Sparkle Box, but it just didn’t serve its purpose anymore. It was falling apart.

Then it happened. My husband glanced at me across the dining room table one day, “I want to build a Sparkle Box. I can’t get that video out of my head. I can’t stop thinking about those babies and that hospital that needs to be built.”

Darlene Collazo - Sparkle Box

And so, we set off to build a Sparkle Box that would last. We built one that would stand the test of time. One that would sit in our home as a continuous testimony of God’s abundant generosity in our lives and His call for us to pour out to others out of that overflow. We built one that would challenge us to care for the needs of others, to sacrifice, and to love boldly. When the time comes for my children to marry and form their own families, we will gift them their own Sparkle Box that the legacy would continue from generation to generation.

I wonder . . . would you join our family in leaving a legacy that unravels for others the heart of God? Whether through Operation Baby Rescue, Child Sponsorship, or one of the many other initiatives in World Help’s Impact 2014, your family can begin its own Sparkle Box tradition. Together—you, me, God, and the contents of our Sparkle Box (which is just a reflection of our hearts) can make an impact that will outlast us, one that will have eternal value and significance.

What do you say? Join me in inspiring a legacy of generosity!


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