"She went to bed with it!" was the e-mail I received, along with a picture of an ecstatic toddler girl in her little bed, hugging an Abby Cadabby doll. It was a new-in-the-box toy, which I had donated earlier that week. CALL TO ACTION DEAR READERS: donate a toy this holiday season—it will change a child's day, and your own.
I had received a toy drop from the good folks at Hasbro (being a parenting blogger, I often receive toys—my kids think I have the best job in the world!). The toys were all absolutely age-appropriate for my kids, who longed to liberate the toys from their packages.
That same week, my husband asked me, "Caroline, do you have any toys in your office we can donate?"
There had been a tragic fire at the house of one of his co-workers—the family lost everything. Everything. However, the family got out alive.
Can you imagine losing everything? Your clothes. Pictures. Furniture. Computer. Everything. It is incomprehensible. Now imagine you are three years old, and it's all gone—along with your toys. How does a young child digest that?
I went to my office and grabbed—by the armload—Hasbro toys.
I didn't expect any recognition, nor reply. All I could think of was—imagine if that was my family.
Most of us have so much (too much)—our birthday present closets and art supply areas overflow. Donating a toy means little to our collection of "stuff," nor to the family budget, yet it means so much to a child who has little.
Families are not always in the position to give a gift to their kids—be it because of a house fire, a job loss, a family member's illness—let's be the person who helps to give a kid a holiday this year.
Coming up to the holidays, I will be donating toys. Absolutely, YES. And I'll have my kids hand the gifts over, so that they can participate in giving.
Where can you donate new toys?
If you know of a place to donate toys, please, please share it in the comments.
Donating those toys changed my day. It made the world a little smaller. Made a stranger-child touch my heart. It made me realize that I have the opportunity to make a difference, and, thus, I write this blog post with purpose and great intent—to influence you, dear readers. Please. Donate. Toys.
For other ways to teach your kids about gratitude, click here.