Updated: Oct 30, 2020
As of November 2014, according to NBC News, One in 30 American children are homeless. That is approximately 2.5 million children - and just over half of them, are under 6 years old. In addition to the noted, about 20 percent of American children as a whole, live below the poverty line.
There is something about the crisp weather, and Christmas music that brings a special flutter into my belly and pep into my step. I am not normally the most "mushy" type of person, but the holiday season always tends to tug at my heart strings, you know what I mean??
In 2018, I connected with a school administrator who ran a district where the above statistics actually proved to be inaccurate for them. One in every 30 of their students were not in poverty... more like 25 out of every 30.... yes, approximately 25 out of every 30.
I had put together a back-to-school event a few months prior to the holiday season (see related blog) and met so many incredible families and children from this community that I felt compelled to help again during the season.
"Can you connect me with your social workers and round up about 20 -30 of your children living in shelters??"
They did. 63 Children to be exact.
"Can you get me a list for them, of something the want and some of the things that they NEED"
When I received that list, it took everything out of me. I spent 2 sleepless weeks reaching out to people I knew, people I didn't know, business owners, family and friends... trying to get these lists completed. We are talking about fulfilling 63 Christmas lists full of multiple items... and these were not your average "Candyland and racecar" requests... these were heavy.
"I want a warm bed to sleep in at night so I don't have to sleep on the floor."
"I would like a desk and chair to do my homework at so I can learn better"
"I want to ask Santa to bring my sister diapers so she does not keep getting a rash"
"I hope I can get a clean notebook to do my school work in"
"I want a home for my family so we do not have to keep living in a shelter"
I meant it when I said heavy....
I am doing a disservice when I say that the people I reached out to "just came through" - because they went ABOVE and BEYOND.
Ipads, gift cards to purchase groceries, furniture, shoes and clothing, books, toys, medicine... you name it, we got it...
263 individual gifts totaling approx. $13,000.
63 Children living in a shelter - getting a little Christmas miracle.
On the day that all of these gifts were given out, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet each and every child - and for many, their parents and guardians. The ability to be able to be a part of ones life in this type of way leaves me with a feeling that I can't really describe... but I encourage you to give back when, where, and if you can... so that you can experience that feeling too.
Love and miracles,