The thing I love most about the Christmas season is the opportunity to give to others. There is nothing more warming than giving unexpected gifts to those you love, admire, respect. Gift giving comes from the heart and demonstrates to others the value they hold.
Champions for Kids is a non-profit organization focused on children. Their mission is to:
"... work to mobilize MILLIONS of people to improve the lives of children in their communities.
Champions for Kids began with a core commitment: to improve the lives of children through the leverage of people. We are motivated by one purpose—to support people and organizations working to make our communities a better place for children."
Disney has partnered with Champions for Kids this Christmas season to create a Stocking Stuffer Celebration - offering people in the community a chance to give back this season by gifting stockings to children.
My family was blessed to participate in this effort. When we realized we had the chance to give a stocking, it was important to pick just the right young recipient. That wasn't hard. There is a young family that participates at the Taekwondo dojo we go to. Their two year old son is absolutely precious. I knew he was the one we wanted to give our stocking to.
I was a young parent. I had my first two children while in college starting at 19. This was a tough road to take, but one that ultimately blessed me with a wonderful family. I learned, though, that it takes a village to really raise children. It shouldn't be done in isolation. I want this family to know - they have a village supporting them.
Shopping for the stocking stuffers was such fun. The boys and I went throughout Walmart looking for just the right items we knew our little guy would love. His parents helped us out by telling us he enjoys movies, books, stuffed animals, and I got permission to add candy to that list. :-) My boys were very proud of their careful selections! You can see our entire shopping trip here.
Stockings fill up quickly - it took a little finesse to get everything in, but the boys were able to do it!
Then, we were off to deliver our gift. Our young man went straight for the Simba stuffed animal sticking out of the top. He didn't even realize there was more inside.
Once he did, however, he was digging in. The cell phone was a big hit! We all got to spend time taking a call from the Lion King.
He made sure his puppy knew these toys were for him and not to be touched. He would point at the toy and then at the puppy - "No, no, no, no, no!" with his little finger dramatically pointed. The puppy did end up with the stocking as his very own Santa hat, though.
While the intention was to bring cheer to a family this holiday, the real gift came from them: the opportunity to spend time with their son seeing childlike joy at receiving a small gesture. I'd do it one hundred times over if I could. My boys learned too how much fun it is to give to others and see the excitement it brings.
Champions for Kids will host other simple service projects. If you're interested in participating, you can find them on the web at www.championsforkids.org, on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.
*** This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.