I remember growing up, around October or November I'd come home to bags filled with toys that we'd be donating to the local shelter. I loved my mom for this. She didn't believe children should be without smiles on Christmas Day. And it taught me the value of giving when you are so blessed to have so much, and so now, in her honor, I teach my kids the same lesson.
For the last few years the family has collected gifts for local shelters, mainly the women's and children's shelter here in town. I try and find the clearance sales so I can get more, and this year I was able to find $1304 worth of toys for about $400 (you can read about it here) so I was pretty excited because hopefully the kids will be able to have a couple things instead of just one.
In addition, last year, my wonderful department at work pulled together and donated nearly 40 pairs of brand new pajamas, ranging in size from infant to adult. It was so amazing, and I felt so honored to work with such great people who would be willing to participate in my cause. At work we also do (separate from the above activities) food drives throughout the year, as well as serve meals at the shelter, to really be involved.
I think it's important for my kids to understand how blessed they are, and how much we truly have. They get pretty excited about picking things out, and throughout the year will find something and ask if we can put it in the bins for the kids at Christmas. It makes me so proud to see what big hearts they have. It makes me feel like my mom is here with us.
This year, I've decided I'm going to tack on something additional. For every item purchased now through December 20, I will make an item and donate it to the shelters in little goodie bags. (So if you purchase two items, I will also make an additional two items for donation). I donated some hairbows last Christmas with the toys, and the woman said they went over really well because the girls can't afford those things from the store normally. I have some items to donate, but will also make additional ones for each item purchased. I am also going to make some cuffs and other boy-ish things for the boys at the shelters.
If you'd like to help, I'd love you to be a part of it! You can help by donating something (I can send you the mailing address) or by purchasing at www.proseboutique.etsy.com and I will add an item to the collection.
Thanks for supporting us and all we do!