Jane Wanted to Give

Recently I was complaining about the fact that I have to help my daughter do community service as part of her grade for school.

I was wrong.

Last night Jane was on the phone with her friend, and he wanted her to join him and his family at The First X-ian Church where they would be handing out toys to children whose families couldn’t afford them.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I wasn’t excited about about waking up at 6.30 on a Saturday Morning, but Jane was insistent. The four of us bundled up, and went to the donut shop. I bought nine dozen donut holes and another dozen donuts. We arrived at the Church and saw a sea of umbrellas.

The kids went up a rear stairwell, and entered the room where the gifts were being given. As children arrived they would say their age, and then a toy ticket was issued, the kids would go to Santa and he would give them an age/gender appropriate toy. Some kids left with play dough, one lucky girl left with a bicycle.

Mr. G walked up and down the line handing out donuts to kids who asked, “Are they free?”

I took this video, and started to narrate it, but when I tried to say that these would be the only gifts that children in my community would get this year I choked up a little. So I didn’t narrate much, or well. I was busy trying to not cry in public.

I’m basically a selfish person, most of us are, and I give begrudgingly, but I give. This time it was because my daughter asked me to.

*If you sent me children’s toys this year this is where they ended up. I know it’s not the best PR in the world, but it’s a good thing, so thanks for having sent them.

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Comments 5

  1. Thank you so much for this post Jessica. It really hits home to see all those people waiting in such a long line in rain to be able to give their children something for Christmas. I teach my children to give… we’ve donated of course… but it seems so anonymous until you can put a face on it like you have. I love that this started as a school project but ended up a joyous lesson in giving for everyone.

  2. I grew up fairly impoverished…So, I think my heart has hardened a little to things like this. My mom fed 7 people on 20 dollars a month. Our Christmas presents were stockings filled with nuts & oranges (the nuts always came in the food pantry items near the holidays…she would get the oranges from the backyards of friends & neighbors). She might also browse Goodwill for stuffed animals & action figures…we were young, we didn’t care or know the difference. We did get sponsored one year by a church…we got new clothes & shoes that year. :) I hope the people that received gifts were grateful…and remember one day when they are no longer in need to pay back some of the kindnesses they have been given.

  3. Thank you.
    You and Jane and every single person who participated in that event rock.
    There are no words that really convey it.
    A little teary & choked up here myself. Wondering what opportunity to give back I’m missing myself. I think I’ll look around a little harder.

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