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Supporting People Living With Special Needs and Disabilities ~ Connecting people, Changing lives…

Giving away a birthday

Giving Away  A BirthdayWhile some folk stop counting birthdays, Joe and Jackie Lynton decided to use their respective movements into a new decade to do something special for God. Their thinking was, "God has blessed us with so much that we felt it should to be an opportunity to give to a good cause." Jackie, approaching 50, and Joseph, 60, decided on a joint celebration, inviting close friends and family. However, instead of receiving gifts they decided to 'do their birthday backwards' as a means to give. The result was an 'auction a promise' birthday party, where participants pledged a service that anyone can undertake for another person or donation of an item. The appropriate 'good cause' was highlighted for them during a weekend break in Oxford where they found themselves reunited with good friends Sophia and Nigel Nicholls. During Sabbath lunch they were inspired by their tireless devotion to their family and especially Matthew, their sixteen-year-old son, who has learning disabilities and other complex needs. Learning about the Adventist Special Needs Association [ASNA], the charity the Nicholls set up over ten years ago to support people living with special needs, led Jackie and Joseph to recognise that "Here was a charity right under our noses within our church community serving the families of those living with special needs." Jackie states, "We had no idea what people would pledge on the night, we had a few donations of a holiday in Tenerife and our birthday cake that we started off the auction with, and both items went with a fantastic starting figure of £400!" Both a presentation by Sophia Nicholls, and the engaging and hilarious skills of auctioneers, Donald Brown and Clive Palmer, made people warm to the whole idea. With between 80 and 90 family and friends present the duo were surprised to raise around £1500 – three times what they expected. Joe enthused, "The response was great, our guests were delighted to give to a good cause and some have pledged to continue to give through monthly standing orders. We would definitely like to do this again!"

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