As Global Playground continues to fundraise for Project Vietnam this holiday season, an extremely generous and personal donation has come along with the monetary donations.
Professor of Law Jayne Barnard recently donated three diamond rings to Global Playground’s efforts to build a primary school in Vietnam. Barnard taught both Doug Bunch and Doug Smith, now members of Global Playground’s Board of Directors, in her securities law classes at William & Mary School of Law and has been following her students and the success of Global Playground ever since.
The diamond rings come from three generations of Barnard’s family and include her grandmother’s engagement ring, her mother’s engagement ring and her own engagement ring. Barnard donated the rings after hearing Bunch’s pitch for the Vietnam project at a fundraiser in November.
“Doug was down in Williamsburg to make the pitch at one of my colleague’s houses,” Barnard said. “He said the line: ‘I will take your cash, I will take your checks, I will take your diamonds etc.’ He may have been kidding about the diamonds, but he planted the seed of an idea, and then I realized that I had three generations of diamonds.”
Barnard saw an opportunity to donate her family’s legacy to the education of children halfway across the world who will one day attend Global Playground’s school in Vietnam.
“It seemed to me that if Doug really wasn’t kidding, if he was willing to take the diamonds, then three items that represented a century of love in my family could go to a really good cause,” Barnard said. “It really made me feel terrific to be able to put my family’s property into one coherent contribution.”
Barnard has been following Global Playground since its inception.
“They have grown remarkably over such a short period of time,” Barnard said. “I am happy to be a financial supporter.”
Before delivering the diamonds to Bunch in Washington, D.C., Barnard let go of her family’s legacy in her own way.
“That afternoon as I was packing and putting the diamonds in my suitcase, I stopped and said wait a minute, let’s do this a little more mindfully,” Barnard said. “I pulled out a photograph of my grandmother and my grandfather, and I pulled out a picture of my parents on their wedding day. I looked over at one of my favorite pictures of my late husband, John, and me at our daughter’s wedding. I had a little moment with my grandparents, my parents, and John, of course. We all decided to let the rings go.”
“We are extraordinarily grateful to Jayne for her contribution,” Bunch said. This is perhaps one of the most heartfelt, meaningful contributions we’ve ever received.”
The diamond rings belonged to Barnard’s grandmother Marian who married Walter Barnard in 1911, her mother Mary who married Clayton Barnard in 1937, and Professor Barnard herself who married John Tucker in 1983. The diamond rings will now be a part of Global Playground’s Vietnam project.
*This is the first of a series of articles about how individual donors are making thoughtful, unique contributions to Global Playground even in tough economic times.