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GIVE & YOU SHALL RECEIVE
G+niuses, there are tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. I crumpled to the floor - moved beyond words - when I saw this. Our gifts to my Save The Children sponsor-sister Katiene were safely delivered to her little village in Mali, Africa. Expand to read the story & click to see the photos.

GLOBAL GIVING IS G+NIUS
Way back, last summer, after feeling the warm glow of getting to know and sing for people around the world in my first Hangout Concerts, my mama and I decided to start giving all that global love back in as many ways as we could.

So we visited +Save the Children USA's website and sponsored this beautiful little-sister-in-spirit, 5 year-old Katiene. This means that every month a little money goes to support her school, her family, her village and everyone who lives there - It's pocket-change in the US but it's life changing for them.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE
The amazing gift is that I get to correspond with Katiene, send her gifts, letters and love and let her know someone out there cares... That so many someones care! So I reached out to you guys, the global village of Google+ to help me decide what to send as my first package - just in time for her 6th birthday...

ART FROM THE HEART
What could show someone across the world that they are loved and seen?

♥ Three remarkable Google+ Artists, +Cliff Roth +Samantha Villenave and +Mike Searle, created portraits of Katiene that show her bright and beautiful and beaming off the page! I had prints made and mounted in clear plastic to handle any weather or wear and tear and popped them into a box with a few other gifts...

♥ Two little stuffed animals - an elephant to represent her home in Africa and a squirrel to represent my home in Connecticut, USA...

♥ A tank top with my "Laughing In The Face of The Lion" logo on it - She thought this sounded like a very silly and dangerous thing to do and asked me to please not laugh at real lions!

♥ A CD of my songs I've heard back that there's no CD player in her village so that can be our next package! What do you guys think? A little CD player with batteries? A little iPod and speakers? Maybe some solar chargers?

♥ And a letter from me with comments and notes from you. :)

SAFE & SOUND
When I brought the package to the post office, the man behind the counter just looked at me and said, "I hope it gets there." Well get there it did!! I received a letter back from Katiene - dictated and translated by the Save The Children field workers there. Inside envelope were photos of Katiene with a gorgeous missing-tooth-grin holding her stuffed animals, posing with her portraits and wearing my tank top with global style! I wish we could hear her laugh. :)

NO TRANSLATION FOR LOVE
Her letter spoke of such happiness! She was overjoyed! In my letter I had tried to explain the internet and Google+... how there was a family of people from all over the world who care about her. She wrote back that there is no computer in her village, but she hopes to see one someday.

Somewhere between translations from her native French and six-year-old wisdom we found common language... and I could just imagine, dream, of one day getting her in front of a Hangout screen to say hello to this world who now knows she exists and loves her from afar.

Your Love Touches The World,
Daria
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22 comments
 
Again, amazed by all your work +Daria Musk and all the great things the #googlepluscommunity is doing on here everyday to help change the world for the better! Thank you!
 
Glad it arrived safely and that Katiene is doing well. You have a big heart.
 
"A tank top with my "Laughing In The Face of The Lion" logo on it - 'She thought this sounded like a very silly and dangerous thing to do and asked me to please not laugh at real lions!'"
That's the cutest thing ever! <3
 
Thank you for including me in this, +Daria Musk. I'm truly overjoyed to hear that the package made it all the way to Katiene, but moreso that we were able to bring a smile to her face!
 
+Joseph Post Good call! Ok cool! Maybe I'll do a post to see if anyone has a CD player to donate... I'll check I bet I have one toO! :)
 
Aww +Cliff Roth your heart is huge too. ♥ And Katiene with your portrait together?! Did you cry? I got really unstuck! I was doing the shakey-cry!
 
+Mike Searle You're one of the sweetest people out there. Your tender heart is so appreciated and your beautiful work is a treasure. It was an honor to have your contribution!
 
These are such beautiful photographs! +Joseph Post's suggestion of a solar-recharger for batteries for a CD player is a great idea. I was looking to see whether anyone had made a wind-up CD Player and couldn't find one but I did find this wind-up MP3 Player, which holds 1Gb of audio and 'trebles' as a torch and mobile-phone-charger. Imagine loading it with +Daria Musk, +RAM Rich, and the voices of Google+! http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/powerplus/verio-wind-up-mp3-player (we could all chip in a bit towards it and the P&P to Mali)
 
How wonderful!!! I still fondly remember the young girl, Jerusalem Tesfai, from Ethiopia, that I fostered many years ago. I mainly donate through Kiva now but you've put the thought back in my head to sponsor a child again.....
 
Great title for this post.
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