9-year-old skips B-day presents—buys chickens for Ethiopia

Chicken Fund LifeBridge San Diego

When Abby Shue celebrated her ninth birthday in November, she had a chicken party. But it wasn't just a cute theme, there was a purpose -- to donate chickens to families in Ethiopia. 

When Abby's brother was 4 years old, he bought ducks through World Vision. Two years ago he and Abby raised $3,001 to buy a well. This included donations given at birthday parties. Abby's mother, Rebecca, says they have a rule in the house about birthday presents. 

"I had suggested we could either have a birthday party with one or two friends and do a normal party, or if she would rather have lots of friends, then we need to not have gifts," Rebecca Shue said. "We can't take more molded plastic."

Abby Shue chicken party
Abby and her friends at her birthday party

The Shue family attends LifeBridge San Diego in California. The church adopted an area of Ethiopia and collects donations to help families in the area. One of the ways to help is to buy chickens. 

"At church they had been advertising the chicken project," Rebecca said. "So it's a combination of the idea to ask for donations instead of gifts (which came from me), and the chicken idea which came from Abby. She just ran with the chicken theme." 

There were chicken cupcakes with Peeps, chicken origami and even a real chicken. 

"One of her girlfriends has chickens and asked if she could bring one. We said yes and that turned out comical. The cats thought we had brought dinner," Rebecca said. "We also had an egg hunt. How often do you get to have an egg hunt in November?"

Abby and her friends raised $164.37 at her party. 

Abby Shue

Abby being recognized for her efforts at LifeBridge San Diego

"I didn't have enough room to store toys if I had normal presents, so I decided on this because it was fun and since the chicken fund was easy to find and our church was doing it," Abby said. "I feel my room isn't so cluttery."

Rebecca says Abby hopes one day to visit the chickens in Ethiopia. 

"As parents we try to get them out of their little bubble. In the U.S. it's easy for us to not realize how good we have it," she said. "My husband and I have gone on short-term missions, and as we get older we want to take the kids. Abby wants us to take her Ethiopia to see where her chickens went. This is a way she can participate at a certain level." 

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    Point - Fall 2017

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