A New York woman decided to turn a toy store going out of business into an opportunity to brighten the holidays for kids in need. This is the story we all need to hear in the midst of frantic Christmas shopping for our kids. There are children who wouldn’t have any toys if not for the generosity of people like Carol Suchman.
When she heard Hudson Party Store was going out of business, Suchman made a decision. She contacted the store’s manager and negotiated a price for the remaining inventory with the intent of spreading the toys to various shelters throughout city. Working with volunteers from New York City Department of Homeless Services, she accomplished that goal. Suchman tells The Huffington Post, “When I saw all of the toys just sitting in the store, it occurred to me that it would be so great to be able to somehow get them to the kids in the homeless shelters that have so little.”
This isn’t the first time Suchman’s big heart has benefited the city’s less fortunate children. For the last five years, she’s made a habit of giving birthday gifts to Brooklyn foster kids, many of which she purchased at Hudson Party Store. The toys she acquired in buying out the store number into the thousands, so plenty of little ones will have a happier Christmas this year because of her.
It goes without saying that most people are not financially able to perform a charitable act on this grand a scale, but Suchman’s generosity can still inspire us. We may not have the means to buy out a whole toy store, but maybe we can drop a handful of change into a Salvation Army bucket, or send a few small gifts to a local homeless shelter. Many schools and churches sponsor families in need for the holiday season, with several people combining efforts to give them a happy Christmas. There are so many ways to give back and this time of year is the perfect excuse.
Helping others makes us feel good, but giving to those less fortunate is also an excellent means of teaching our children how important it is to be grateful. As their gifts from Santa and family members pile up, it’s easy for a child to lose sight of the fact that they’re incredibly lucky. It’s a conversation we should have all year — the importance of gratitude — but that lesson can be especially meaningful to a child during the holiday season. It never hurts to remind our kids to have a giving heart, particularly at a time of year where so many people feel the sting of poverty.