Change Makers

Blessing through business

An 11-year-old Ohio girls starts a business and raises money for Gift Catalog cows. And now her gifts keep on giving! Read Malina's story.

Two years ago, 11-year-old Malina Costello read about a young girl who raised money for the World Vision Gift Catalog, and she had an instant reaction.

“Wait, I can do that!” says Malina, who lives in Richfield, Ohio.

When she was 6, Malina and a friend had started making and selling beaded bracelets. Malina’s friend soon tired of the work, but Malina took it several steps further. At 7, she launched her own business, “Little Miss Rose.” Four years later, after many research trips to the library, her business is still going strong — selling handmade bracelets and bath products, including sugar scrubs, soaps, and bath bombs.

An 11-year-old Ohio girls starts a business and raises money for Gift Catalog cows. And now her gifts keep on giving! Read Malina's story.
Bath balms, bars of soap, and bath salts made by Malina. (©2017 Genesis Photo Agency/photo by Marvin Fong)

“It’s fun to watch her take the drive and determination and see it through, and she really does see it through. She makes all her products; she puts her fliers together,” says her mom, Marney Costello. “I’m proud of her.”

Marney read a book by the founder of craft store chain Hobby Lobby and learned how business can impact giving.

“God uses people in business to move the charitable arm forward,” Marney says. “I think that’s pretty exciting because if you have a great talent in business, God can really use that to generate income, and then you can give it away, and it can then move forward and encourage others to give more away and help others.”

She shared what she had learned with her daughter, and it inspired Malina to use her business to help others. So when Malina was 9 and saw the story of the child who raised money for World Vision, she set out on her own adventure to give a cow to a family in need through the Gift Catalog.

Marney says she’s shared with Malina that, “making money is one thing, but using what God has given you, your talents, to help someone else — especially with something like a cow, something that is sustainable into the future — it’s a blessing to their family.”

Malina had other reasons for choosing a cow. Whenever she would visit her grandmother, she saw all the cows on the dairy farm nearby. “I like cows. They’re good pets,” she says. “They’re some of my favorite animals. I like their big ears, and I like how you can hug them and they won’t freak out on you.”

That Christmas season, Malina, who wants to be a businesswoman or a ballerina when she grows up, designed a catalog for her business, contacted her parents’ friends, packaged and wrapped her products, and successfully raised $300 to buy six shares of a dairy cow (the price was $50 per share at the time).

All these hours of work, with time spent praying for their sponsored children and other children in need, “It makes it personal,” says Marney. “If it’s on a personal level, you think about it more often.”

Because of her care for others, Malina is planning another Christmas sale this year to help more children. She says, “It makes me happy because each year I make more money so I can give more.”

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