They’re asking for heartbreakingly simple things
The holiday season is upon us, and as we’re busily preparing for all the gift-buying, parties, and food, some families are only reminded of the things they don’t have. For one young boy, that includes school snacks so he’s not the only one in his class with nothing to eat.
The heart-wrenching request was shared as part of a Christmas gift donation program organized by the non-profit Things of My Very Own, Inc. based in Schenectady, New York. Their mission, according to their Facebook page, is “providing crisis intervention services to children impacted by extensive abuse and/or neglect.” Another service they offer is to help keep families together and children out of the foster care system when the only issue at play is a lack of funds to purchase the things a child needs to live a healthy life.
For this ten-year-old, one of those things is a snack to take out during class to eat with the rest of his peers. And some Pokemon cards, because he’s a ten-year-old boy, after all.
If that isn’t a gut punch, I don’t know what is. Having a snack at school might not even be about just hunger — it’s about not feeling ashamed and ostracized. It’s demoralizing for a child to have nothing to eat while everyone else around him does. A small snack seems like such a simple thing, but it carries a lot of meaning.
The organization distributes the gift tags to local businesses for people to select and then purchase the requested items, bringing them to Things of My Very Own, Inc. all wrapped and ready to give out to the children. Luckily, the comments under this boy’s gift tag are full of people who want to send him all the snacks and whatever Pokemon items his heart desires.
But of course, his tag isn’t the only one that needs fulfilling.
From littles in need of all things Batman and Thomas the Train (along with twin blankets and a nightlight), to older kids who have outgrown their clothes and need new ones, there’s so many ways to do a good thing this holiday season. Across every price point there are gifts for kids in need.
This baby is literally asking for food as well as an army man. He’s six. He’s six and he’s asking Santa for food. My heart simply can’t take it.
An eleven-year-old girl in need of blankets and a coat who prefers the color blue felt the need to let gift buyers know that she’s “a nice person.” If this doesn’t break your heart, you don’t have one. In what decent world does a child feel she has to justify needing things to keep her warm by preempting that she’s a nice person? Again, the comments show that people are more than willing to give this sweet girl what she’s asking for.
And amid all the heartbreaking wishlist items are adorable reminders that these kids are still kids — and deserve to be innocent enough to have their biggest concern be that their brother is stealing their Batman toys.
This organization certainly isn’t unique when it comes to the gift tag project — schools, churches, or even your place of employment probably has a similar program for “adopting a family” or an individual child, like Things of My Very Own, Inc. allows. We can use this time of being grateful and thinking generously to address needs, not just for this wonderful non-profit, but in our own communities too.
If you’re in the position to do so, call your child’s school and see if teachers need help keeping extra snacks on hand for the kids who regularly don’t have one. Ask if there are local families in need of clothing or food. Involve your children. This year, I’ve decided to give my kids money to take on a trip to the grocery store so I can help them select items to donate to their school’s canned food drive. There are so many ways to give and even if you can’t spend a lot, it all helps.
For that little boy who needs school snacks, $5-10 could have him set for a month. Imagine what it would do for his self-esteem and his ability to focus on his schoolwork knowing that he doesn’t need to worry about this anymore.
There’s so much mean in the world. 2017 has been a hard year and I think we’re all needing to see the good.
So let’s be the good.
If you’d like to donate to Things of My Very Own, Inc. directly, you can do so on their website. Other organizations helping kids in need during the holidays include Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, and Make A Wish.