“Mommy, if Santa Claus brings presents to all the good boys and girls, why do we donate toys to the kids in the shelters?”
Whew. That’s a tough one.
We donate toys for these children because sometimes people do not let Santa know how little they have. We bring the toys because some children use their letters to Santa to ask for warm clothing and food. We give these gifts because even Santa does not work alone and he needs friends in every neighborhood to help him bring a little joy to every girl and boy.
My five year old daughter is already a Santa skeptic. That’s fine but I hope she knows that Santa is real in the way that counts–in the spirit of giving and generosity that can fill each and every one of us. Because right now, that’s the Santa we need.
Champions for Kids is all about deputizing a lot of year-round “Santas”. 20 Million of them by 2020 to be precise. They are working “to mobilize MILLIONS of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America and beyond.”
Maybe it is a little cliched but you need to be the change you want to see. And that is what I want for my family. We need to stretch our empathy muscles and build our compassion power so that we can create the types of communities where we can thrive. Along the way we will find that we have the strength and the talent to make a positive impact.
That’s why it is so important to me that my children are involved in as many of my volunteer activities as possible. Even a three-foot-tall preschooler can be a giant when he helps someone else.
We volunteer all year. Around the Holidays, there are even more opportunities to get involved in our communities.
The kids make cards that go out with meals to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving.
They bake cookies and sing carols and play piano at a local assisted living facility.
And they help stuff stockings for children in a local shelter.
This year, we’re getting a little help from Disney for our stockings so that we can help spread the word about Champions for Kids. We are going to fill 6 stockings with Disney gifts and other items our friends are donating and then bring them to the local food pantry for their Holiday party for the children.
When you look at the amount of suffering, a stocking may seem like a small thing. But this one gesture can be so meaningful to a child who feels invisible.
Did you know that this very day almost 50,000 children worldwide will die from poverty? Malnourishment, preventable diseases, and other causes of death that basically boil down to a failure of will of the adults of the world. Or that, right here in the United States, more than 17 million children in the United States are at risk for hunger.
That means that kids who should be thinking about school and friendship and the magic of childhood are instead worried about affording medical care, school supplies, a place to live, and their next meal.
Champions for Kids believes, and I agree, that the solutions are with each and every one of us.
Their guiding vision is that all children should have:
Someone who cares
A place to belong
Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey.
Could you give the gift of hope? It is amazing what it can mean to simply say to a child: “You are here. You are important. You matter to someone.”
Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias