Recently a package arrived on my doorstep. I know what you’re thinking. It’s December, packages aren’t all that uncommon. But I’m not talking about a big package, I’m talking about a HUGE package…the kind that makes your child’s eyes grow big with delight. Thanks to Hasbro, this package impacted not only my family, but the community.
The Joy Maker Challenge
Hasbro has an amazing initiative, BE FEARLESS BE KIND, and I was offered the opportunity to have my family take part. But here’s the thing – you can take part too. I’m inviting you and it can transform your Christmas and help those in need. (Read on, as Hasbro is even offering one of my readers 40 toys to help them participate)
Through December 23rd, for every child or teen who volunteers through the The Joy Maker Challenge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots, up to 1 million dollars’ worth!
It doesn’t take much and the result can be so impactful. You see, I’m a big believer on teaching my 9-year old to care for others. There are so many different ways to do just that, but one of those ways is through acts of service. The younger we expose our children to these opportunities, the more it becomes a natural part of their life.
This past Friday, I picked my daughter up from school and we set out on a mission. We were charged with finding a local shelter in the community and delivering toys provided by our friends at Hasbro.
The huge box we found on our doorstep, it was filled with toys, but those toys weren’t for us at all. Those toys would be given to children in an emergency shelter, children who have suffered from abuse, neglect or homelessness.
We chose to deliver the toys to City House in Plano, Texas, an emergency shelter for children ages newborn to 17 years old. I wanted a place that wasn’t too far away, a place that we could return to time and time again to donate items and provide acts of service. City House has been making a difference in the community for over 27 years, founded by Plano school teachers who noticed students living out of their lockers.
As we pulled up to City House, I reminded my daughter that children lived here, though temporarily. We talked about the many reasons a child might find themselves in these circumstances. It’s heartbreaking at times to explain certain hardships. To educate your own child about how some children have to be taken away from their own parents is a tough thing to do, but it’s a discussion worth having.
Houston, we have a problem!
My daughter cared so much for these children, that she wanted to personally hand-deliver each toy. As in, walk right on back to their rooms and give them a My Little Pony playset or Mr. Potato Head!
As easy as that sounded, I reminded her that a gift on Christmas morning might be a better option. Not only that, but wouldn’t a child prefer receiving a gift from someone they know versus a stranger. She was crushed, but understood. In fact, when we arrived at the shelter, the Director explained very sweetly that some kids might even feel embarrassed for another child to see them living in a home like this.
Understanding that our role was simply to play Santa, my sweet girl unloaded the car herself, loaded the cart, pushed the cart into the shelter and delivered the toys under the Christmas tree.
But that wasn’t all. We spent time with the Director finding out just how we can continue to be an active part of City House in the future. Though minors aren’t allowed to “volunteer” for most activities, there are plenty of ways to help. She talked of baking cookies and creating homemade birthday cards for the shelter to use on those special days. We talked about items they need on a day to day basis, from laundry detergent to food. Needless to say we already have another pile ready to deliver soon!
Help your child learn the value of service by being a part of The Joy Maker Challenge! There’s no better gift this holiday season. Hurry, you have until December 23rd!
My friends at Hasbro are giving a Joy Maker Challenge kit to one winner here at Finding Debra. The kit includes two sets of 20 Hasbro toys each – one for the winner to keep, and one for the winner to donate. That’s 40 Toys! (Various brands)