This year I was in charge of collecting Christmas gifts for a homeless shelter for my daughters 4th grade class and we ended up getting so many presents that I had "extra" come Christmas morning.
I felt very guilty that I had a huge bag of gifts sitting in my kitchen...gifts that were meant to bring smiles and hope to underprivileged children this morning...so after my family celebration, I grabbed my cousin and the bag of gifts and jumped in the car.
We headed to downtown Clearwater - an area that could use some Christmas cheer - and we drove around the neighborhoods looking for children to distribute the gifts to.
After about an hour, we had handed out everything...toys, clothing, books, toiletries and every child we gave a gift to said "Thank you." Not only that, they had the biggest smile on their face!
One child in particular caught our attention. He was about 11 years old and was leaning on a railing on his bike looking at the creek below. He had his chin resting in his hand with the saddest look on his face. I mean, really sad. Way too sad for a child. After we gave him this skateboard toy, he gave us the biggest smile...something I will always remember.
I'll never know why he was so sad...what he was thinking about... and we'll never know the impact (if any) we had on these children but doing this simple act of passing out Christmas presents was the ultimate highlight of OUR Christmas.
Every way we can help someone...a gift dropped off at your local Church, a check written to your favorite charity, food brought to a food bank is a wonderful thing to do but if you ever have the opportunity to PERSONALLY give a gift to someone in need, I highly recommend it!
My cousin and I made a pact that we would do this every Christmas from here on out...I would even like to bring my children with me next year so that they could learn the importance of giving...
Truly a memorable Christmas...