Love Never Fails

At 101, Myrtle Charles loves to sponsor 10 children.

World Vision child sponsor Myrtle Charles

Myrtle Charles is extending her lifelong commitment to children through her will. (Gary Fong/Genesis Photos)

Myrtle Charles may be 101 years old, but you would hardly know it. Her mind is sharp, her voice is strong. She lives in her own home, and when visitors call, she often answers the door herself.

Neither has age dimmed her compassion for children. At 100, she knitted 50 caps for children at a kindergarten in a poor neighborhood of her hometown, Chico, Calif. They proved such a hit, she agreed to make 30 more. When she fell recently and broke her ankle, the children put together a scrapbook of photographs and messages urging her to get well soon.

Among other treasured correspondence are the letters she receives from the 10 children she sponsors through World Vision. Although arthritis in her hands prevents her from writing long letters, she manages to jot them an encouraging line on greeting cards.

“I understand what many of these children are going through, because I have gone through difficult times and have been there myself,” she says.

Born in 1908, and growing up in the country, Myrtle had no chance to go to high school. During the Great Depression, her ailing husband was unable to work. Myrtle supported her young family as a typist, and saved everything—even balls of string.

But even when times were desperate, caring for children remained a top priority. “We saved and we worked, since our goal was to help children,” says Myrtle.

She was just as determined that children would continue to benefit after her death, so she has made World Vision a beneficiary of her will.

Myrtle is unsure how she has managed to live so long, but she suspects a diet of fruit and vegetables has helped, plus a positive attitude. “I was never a pessimistic person, and I have a great outlook,” she says.

Caregiver Cynthia Harvey agrees, saying that as Myrtle continues to live, she continues to bless.

“Our lives would not be as full if it were not for our relationship with Myrtle. There are a lot of people that also feel that way,” she says

To learn how you can support children by including World Vision in your will, go to www.worldvision.org/mylegacy or e-mail giftplanning@worldvision.org.

One response to “Love Never Fails

  1. Lovely lady, Myrtle Charles, who was married to my wonderful Uncle Lester. They shared a long and fruitful life together in Chico. I remember many visits with Uncle Les and Aunt Myrtle, who were adventurous, kind and giving people. Myrtle passed away yesterday at the age of 104. I will remember her as my Aunt Myrtle, who became my friend and a mentor the past several years. She knew the good life, and what was important – striking that healthy balance of giving, church, walking, friends and knitting. Myrtle will be remembered for her kindness to others, her generosity, and her ability to live a simple but beautiful life. Farewell to you Myrtle, may your next journey be grand! ~ Katy Charles

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