Last week we were given the wonderful opportunity to meet with Daryl Mackin, the founder of A Soldier’s Child Birthday Foundation. They were the September recipient for Cause to Promote. A Soldier’s Child is a growing non-profit that honors the birthdays of children who have lost a parent in active duty. The idea was created by Daryl Mackin in November 2007 while preparing for his own son’s 6th birthday party. Daryl was in his office and saw a picture of Mark (a dear friend who was killed in active duty). At that moment Daryl realized that Christian (the son of Mark) would never have another birthday with his own father. In June of 2008 they celebrated their 1st birthday through the organization for Christian (in honor of Mark).
Each year the organization has grown, and in June 2010 they had 40 kids, by Christmas 200, and this year they have up to 500 kids they send presents to. Daryl’s mission is to remember the children. He said “Not many things are done for the kids for the most part they are forgotten.” A Soldier’s Child does not seek out the children because it is such a sensitive time for most families. Mothers are asked to fill out a gift interview form, this helps Daryl and his team shop for toys, clothes, and necessities that child needs. In the middle of every month Daryl and a group of volunteers go gift shopping, wrap, and ship, within those 3 days…quite the impressive and thorough process!
The unique thing about this organization is the emphasis they place on wrapping the gifts. Each gift is wrapped in purple paper, lined with silver and gold ribbon which Daryl says symbolizes “Royalty.” Through the interview I learned about a shell that is found on the Florida beach called a Spiny Dye Mirax. The mollusk of this shell produces a purple dye. The purple die in the shell ties back to the idea of the wrapping that the child inherited royalty. The shell is placed on the box along with a scroll that is stamped with a waxed crown. Their goal is to adopt these children and continue to bless each birthday until they are adults. Daryl was proud to announce that he had never missed a birthday!
Daryl and is members of volunteers continue to gain and bless children as the years go on. They now offer a week long summer camp and hope to form a scholarship program for these children. What he is doing is a true reflection on his character. He has impacted so many lives around the United States and his faith shines through each gift. It was a delight to meet he and his co-worker Clayton Ledford. For more information visit their website www.asoldierschild.org.
“We are Warriors. We fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to”.
-Sgt. Mark Andrew Golczynski