Photo Credit: Abigail R Swarts

Abigail Swarts’ daughter Taylin celebrated her birthday during lockdown, but instead of a party, Taylin asked if they could make packs for girls her age.


Johannesburg, South Africa (01 September 2020) – Taylin Swarts, a then 9-year-old asked her mom, Abigail if they could go ziplining for her birthday later in the year. Abigail agreed it would be a fun party and kept the idea in mind for planning later on, closer to Taylin’s 10th birthday.

Abigail was supposed to start planning Taylin’s party at the end of March, but lockdown kicked in. As time went by, she realised a ziplining party might not be on the cards due to the lockdown.

Abigail asked Taylin is they could make a plan B and have a cake with the family instead. Taylin was happy with the idea, understanding that the lockdown meant they couldn’t have a party with her friends or anyone beyond their home. She was asked to think about her themed cake, and to get back to her mom with ideas.

Taylin approached her mother with an idea, but it wasn’t for a cake!

“While planning the theme cake and having to submit our final draft Taylin changed her mind on 14 June 2020. She says “leave the cake and gifts and let me take the money and buy a few things for children who don’t have”. Me with my selfish thoughts almost tried to discourage her, but thank God my mother called her and my response was interrupted. She went out and this gave me time to digest her idea. Upon return, I asked, “so tell me what do you have in mind for the children who don’t have”. Well, I want GIRLS only and they should be 9 turning 10 or just turned 10 this year. I want to give them toiletries, sweets, chips, chocolate and a gift that they can use as their own. OK, I will see what I can do.”

Abigail started making plans to get the packs together. There wasn’t much time left. With Taylin’s birthday on the 2nd of July, they worked hard to get additional money together to make up lovely packs.

“2nd July came, the day of her birthday, my heart broke in pieces having to wish my daughter a happy birthday without a gift or even a birthday cake. She really wanted nothing, my heart was heavy but she was very pleased and smiled as if it was just an ordinary day. Come 3rd July, the day of the drive she was cool, well dressed and ready to go do the handouts. Every house we stopped at was an accurate selection. She gave each girl the goody bag, hygiene pack, a 24 cm pizza and a cold drink. They and their parents were very happy and appreciated what she gave them. So Saturday morning, I asked her a few questions about how she felt and what she thought, and she replied: “I think I should do this every 3 months”.”

Abigail had only spoken with family about this birthday gift but somehow, the news of what Taylin did got out. It even reached the owner of the zipline company where Taylin originally wanted to go for her party. The owner called Abigail and offered to host Taylin and the girls she gifted her packs to, for a fun day at the end of August.

Over the weekend, Taylin and Abigail met up with all the girls and they had a fun day ziplining. Taylin’s generous spirit earned her a great surprise in the end. The ziplining company shared the update saying:

“Earlier this year when 10-year-old Taylin was asked what she wants to do for her birthday her first thought was to have a party with friends and family at Amazwingzwing Zipline. Then lockdown happened and seeing the need of children in her community she asked her mother to rather make up some parcels for girls of her age as a birthday gift. With the help of prayer, family and friends some parcels were made up and Taylin distributed the parcels to some of the less privileged girls in the community.

A staff member at Amazwingzwing Zipline heard about this generosity and contacted Taylin’s mom.

Today Taylin’s wish came true – Taylin and 10 girls from her community have been on the Zipline at Amazwingzwing.”


Sources: Facebook / Facebook
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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