Saturday, September 11, 2010


Author: Carolyn Campbell

Four-year-old Jayde Cluff's 60-cent donation to help heal victims of September 11 was only pocket change in financial worth. But the young girl's heartfelt contribution touched hearts across the nation and inspired a wealth of giving.

When Jayde saw a news broadcast of United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the second World Trade Center tower, the normally talkative little girl grew silent and sad. Three days later, while walking to preschool, she placed a handful of dimes in her mother's hand. "Mommy, this can help the people who were hurt in those towers," she said.

Jayde's mother, Sarah, cried at her daughter's sweet gesture. Jayde had been saving her dime-a-week allowance for six weeks to buy a Barbie doll. "That's your Barbie money," Sarah reminded her daughter.

"Send that money to New York," Jayde replied with assertive determination. The next day, Sarah and Jayde taped the six dimes to a letter addressed to New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. "I know this contribution is only pennies," Sarah wrote, " but we are a working-class family of little means, and this is my daughter's greatest treasure. Please send it where it can help someone." The little girl was content to wait for the doll if it meant helping those New Yorkers.

When word of Jayde's big heart got to Mattel, Inc., Barbie's manufacturer, the company sent her 17 Barbies and accessories in a box that was taller than she is. Moments later, Jayde drew out the Jo March Barbie doll (based on a character in the book Little Women) and ran to Sarah. "This is the doll, Mommy. This is the Barbie I want to give the little girl who lost her daddy," she said, referring to a firefighter's four-year-old daughter whom she'd seen on TV. Jayde's parents were able to track down the girl and send the doll so it would arrive on her birthday.

As hotel bellhop, John Barnes rode home from work on the subway, he heard Jayde's story, and it brought him to tears. He sent her another Barbie.

"I love you! The doll you sent is beautiful," Jayde told him on the phone.

New York police officer Tom Janow sent Jayde NYPD badges along with another Barbie. He told her that it's little girls like her that make this country great. And even more dolls arrived - police officers, firefighters, and ordinary citizens sent Jayde 46 Barbies along with other toys and gifts!

Jayde and Sarah gave all the Barbies away to families grieving September 11 losses and to other needy children. Sarah contacted families to determine which Barbie fit best with each child. If there was a boy in the family, she sent another toy for him.

Three dolls went to three girls in Washington State whose mother was a passenger on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Four went to sisters in Arizona who lost an aunt on one of the hijacked planes. Eight others she gave to Toys for Tots, to be distributed locally.

Jayde's generosity has inspired her sisters, who have raised money to help others by doing chores. "Her spirit is much bigger than her little body," Sarah says. "She gave away her greatest treasure, and she is my greatest treasure."

Source: Signs of the Times, Copyright (c) September 2002, Pacific Press,

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” - Matthew 25:45 

Sent by : Sherry’s Inspirational -

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