Marley Bridger is a typical grade 8 student. She is an avid figure skater, plays the piano and enjoys writing stories. She attends French Immersion school and lives with her parents and younger brother and sister.
What is not typical in her family, is that both her younger siblings are hard-of-hearing. While her brother wasn’t identified until just before Kindergarten, her sister was identified earlier, at the age of 2.
For three years, their family received services and supports through BC Family Hearing Resource Centre. Marley explains: “It made a lot of difference for us, it helped us meet other people who were the same and for [my sister] to make friends. She learned some sign language; she learned to be comfortable with her hearing aids and how to take care of them.”
Leading up to Marley’s 10th birthday, she had a conversation with her mother. “My mom let me know an option that if I didn’t want gifts I could make a donation to somewhere like BC Children’s Hospital. So I did this and I decided to give to BC Family Hearing,” she says.
When asked what would inspire someone to forego the excitement of birthday gifts over a charitable donation, Marley simply says: “I don’t need all those birthday gifts, I have other stuff and I get gifts from other people. Instead of giving me more stuff that I don’t need, it could be put to better use by giving it to BC Family.”
For the last four birthdays, Marley has asked her friends to donate money instead of birthday gifts. Then she collects it all together, sometimes with an additional donation from her grandmother, and brings it in to the Centre. Since 2015, with the help of her friends, Marley has donated $609. “[People] should donate to BC Family Hearing Resource Centre because the money can go towards helping kids who need it and to support them.” Thanks Marley for reminding us all of what true generosity looks like!