Cartwheels for a Cause

“Mommy, when do you think we’ll raise money for Bridgehaven again at Children’s Church?” It was the second time in a week that our six-year-old daughter, Greta, had asked me about supporting the pregnancy support center here in Cedar Rapids.

“You know, Greta,” I said, getting eye to eye with her, “we don’t have to wait for Children’s Church to support Bridgehaven. We can give money to them on our own anytime we want.”

“Oh, okay!” she replied, and cartwheeled out of the room.

As I watched her complete what was probably her hundredth cartwheel of the day, an idea formed.

“Greta, what do you like doing best right now?" I asked her.
“Cartwheels!” she exclaimed, while continuing to cartwheel back and forth across the room.

“What if you could raise some money for babies and moms at Bridgehaven while doing cartwheels? Do you think you could do… 500 cartwheels in one day?” I asked, thinking on my feet.

“Yes, yes, yes! I could do it!”

Within a few minutes, Greta and I had snapped a couple photos and written a quick post for Facebook, explaining Greta’s desire to raise money for Bridgehaven by completing her own 500 cartwheel marathon. Our hope was that a small handful of friends would commit to donating a penny per cartwheel to Bridgehaven for Greta’s efforts.

What followed was both amazing, humbling, and only could have been accomplished through God’s hand of blessing.

Within days, dozens and dozens of friends had pledged their support for Greta’s cartwheel marathon, and their pledged dollars began to mount into hundreds, then more than a thousand dollars. My husband, Christian, and I felt stunned that our little girl’s goal could be multiplied into such a blessing for Bridgehaven.

Our marathon day arrived, and Greta began her cartwheels bright and early at 7 a.m. She was so excited, knowing that each cartwheel alone was raising more than a dollar for Bridgehaven. By mid-morning, Greta had completed 275 cartwheels. She was so driven to reach her goal, I think she would have accomplished it by noon, had we not forced her to take breaks and rest.

My parents arrived to spend the afternoon with us, and by mid-afternoon, Greta had just 30 cartwheels to go to reach her 500-cartwheel goal. We turned on Facebook Live and broadcast Greta’s last cartwheels for our friends who had so generously supported her efforts. 500 cartwheels! She had done it!

In the course of just a few days, Greta had gone from the simple desire to bless the babies and families at Bridgehaven to raising nearly $1,500 for the pregnancy support center. The astonishment was clear on Greta’s face when I told her how much money she’d helped raised. Like me, she’d hoped to raise maybe 30 or 40 dollars.

We certainly didn’t set out to complete a major fundraiser for Bridgehaven. But it just goes to show you that God can and will do incredible things when you combine the generosity of more than 50 families and the eager willingness of a six-year-old girl.


Lindsay Talsness