Saturday, July 9, 2011

Christmas Children in July

For the past two years, I have conducted what I call, Christmas Children, on my blog. During that time, I have asked people in our community to update me on any children who will be doing without gifts that particular Christmas. People from neighbors to friends to the children's parents have emailed or called me to give their particular details. In most cases, I have known at least a small amount of the children involved. I then tried to get the ages and sexes of the kids involved so that we would have a much better idea of what kind of gifts we needed to gather. That was Step 1.

Step 2 is where you came in. Once I had information on these children, I posted everything except for the family's names and other details that might have made it easy for the public to know who I was referring to. At no time, do I ever want people to figure out who we are helping. In my opinion, this confidentiality is a must. Since my family and I cannot afford to provide all of the necesary gifts to these kids and still have money left over to provide gifts for our own family, we have asked for your help. So many of you have seemingly come out of the woodwork to help in any way possible. Most of you chose what child(ren) you wanted to help that Christmas. After that, you went on out and purchased the gifts and most wrapped them in beautiful giftwrap. A few of you preferred to give money for us to use to purchase these gifts. We had a great time buying the goodies that we thought that the kids would enjoy opening on Christmas or Christmas Eve. Gifts have ranged from clothing to dolls to purses to shoes and boots to games, etc., etc., etc.

My family and I were only too happy to deliver those gifts to the Christmas Children's family a couple of days before Christmas. Seeing the relief flood across the faces of their parents was just astonishing. Can you imagine the pain and stress these parents felt during the weeks and days before Christmas when they realized that there would be very little or no money available to compile these gifts for the children who so deserved them??? It would be horrible.

Various parents met us with tear-filled eyes when they saw us arrive with gifts in tow. Others gave us very tight hugs. LOL!!! All were happy to know that other people cared enough to see to it that their children did not go without that year.

One family whom we have helped both years had never experienced a traditional Christmas. In all honesty, the first year that we helped them, the parents had enough money to purchase the presents. In my opinion, they were, plainly and simply, too selfish. One of the parents had been raised in a home where providing gifts or even just a special meal for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and birthdays was never done. This was not due to religious beliefs. The parents just didn't "feel the urge" to do it. Even though that parent told me that he remembered the harshness of returning to school after Christmas and having to watch and listen to the other children show off their new gifts from Santa Claus, etc, he did not feel compelled enough to keep his own children from having to endure that pain and heartache. I am not going to lie to you, I had a tough time biting my tongue as he told me this. When we discussed this, 4 of his children had already grown up and left home. Three more remained at home. Those children were still grade school age. I knew these children personally and had heard them tell me stories about their giftless lives. These were actually the children whom unknowingly prodded me into starting Christmas Children.

When I mentioned these children and others on my blog, you came forward and helped me to give these kids their first ever Christmas. Almost 3 years later, they still talk about how excited they were when they discovered that Santa Claus had not fogotten them that year. They still play with the gifts that they received then. One of those kids, a little girls, saved one gift without opening it. She hid it somewhere in her house so that she could have something to open the next Christmas... Last year, we helped them again. By that time, the family was facing major financial issues. It seemed like we had to do something to help these kids who had enjoyed Christmas so very much the year before. Again, you came forward and helped us to do just that! Thank you!!! That time, the parents thanked us over and over again for the joy that all of us were able to give.

No matter where you are living now, chances are that you are noticing that finances are getting tougher and tougher. Just this week, our president announced that though our government has been telling us that our recession was getting better, in fact, it was getting worse. This month, we are learning that the percentage of unemployment has gone even higher than before. Chances are that in just a bit over 5 months, even more families will be doing without Christmas gifts. That is a likelihood that I don't like facing.

Waiting until December to try to figure out the next step would be foolish. So we are now actively pursuing the legal routes that we need in order to try to raise more funds, toys and or clothing to help the children this year and in the following years. Though none of our givers have asked for proof that they helped as a way to take their gifts off of their taxes, we are going to try to see what we need to do so that people can use their gifts to pay less money on their taxes. Once I know more about all of this, I will post it here.

In the past 2 years, we have helped a considerable amount of children in Wichita County. Every other county in the nation has children who don't receive Christmas gifts. Because of that, I am asking more of you to come forward in their own county to start up their own branch of Christmas Children. You name this group of children anything that you want to. That is not important. Helping the less fortunate is what is important.

I considered that it might be a good idea if I started now to begin stocking up on gifts for the Christmas of 2011. It did not take me long to realize that that would not work. Why? Because it is too soon right now to know who we will be providing gifts for therefore we don't know their ages, sexes, wants, etc. At this point, we can only start saving money for these gifts. If you are interested in giving gifts this year, you may want to just start putting a little bit of money aside every month that you can use in December to purchase these gifts for children. Soon after Thanksgiving, I will ask for names of children who will need us. Once I have that information, I will be posting it here. A couple of my helpers have told me that they have never felt any better about buying gifts as they did when they started buying them for our Christmas Children.

I want to ask you to send me any thoughts that you might have on how we can better our work. Give me a call, email me or leave a comment here. Most importantly, pray that we help all of the children out there to find Christmas.



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