Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Charities for Children- Day 43 of the 100-Day Countdown to Christmas

Today I am going to share a list of Christmas Charities for Children. I feel strongly about helping others and teaching children to do the same. What a better time of year to do so than the holidays?

 I was blessed to be raised with two of the most caring, and generous parents EVER. Their generosity was limitless and still is to this day. I could write a novel on the acts of kindness I witnessed! From being foster parents to helping elderly neighbors to bringing home stray animals to hosting exchange students to name just a few.  My mom has volunteered endless hours for the community weather it be helping in the church or the local historical society. My dad has been known to give complete strangers money (on numerous occasions)  and even to drive them two hours to a bus station and buy their ticket with his only request of repayment be that they pay it forward with another act of kindness. I believe in my heart of hearts that they will do so and will never forget that person who helped them in their time of need.

To witness these acts of kindness has left a lasting impression on me and I have already started to involve my son in some of these activities. He is only three years old but has witnessed us donating clothes to the Salvation Army, toys to the Toys for Tot's program and food to our local food bank.

I have a personal story that I'd like to share with you, not because I want credit for the act of kindness, but because it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. 

My husband is an engineer and during the holidays he receives gifts from many of the companies he works with. He receives food items, clothing, money and gift certificates. Ethically, he is not permitted to accept these gifts. So each year we  donate the money and gift certificates to a church for them to anonymously give to a member in need.

Several years ago I was teaching at a local technical school where a student of mine suffered a tragedy a couple of months before Christmas; her son ,5 years old, passed away. When he was 2 they were on a family vacation when he nearly drowned. The accident left him in a persistent vegetative state. She cared for her child for three years, round-the-clock, until she decided to return to school. At that time, her mother assumed responsibility for the child while his mother was at school. Let me just tell you that attending the funeral for that child was one of the saddest things I've ever wittnessed.

The family didn't have enough money to cover the funeral expenses so they were not even thinking about Christmas that year. The family also had a little girl who not only lost her big brother, but possibly would have no Christmas that year because her family was trying to pay for his funeral. So two weeks before Christmas when the money and gift certificates began to roll in, my husband and I could think of no more deserving people than this family. We anonymously mailed to them $800 in mall gift certificates. I had the joy of seeing her come to school just beaming that she had been the recipient of a random act of kindness from someone in her community. Eight years would pass before I had a chance encounter of seeing this woman again. She did not recognize me but I will never forget her........

Your donation does not need to be a large donation. It should be whatever is in your means and comes from the heart. While you may not ever know the person you are helping, the feeling you get from doing so is priceless.

I'm sure there are MANY,many more charities out there. These are just a few suggestions that I have compiled for you:

Toys for Tots Program
U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program makes Christmas a little brighter for needy children in your community.

My Two Front Teeth
My Two Front Teeth offers a personalized online gift-giving experience to aid underprivileged children. These children are selected through community organizations and allowed to individually pick their one holiday wish. The child's wish profile is entered into the online database where donors then choose an online sponsorship

The Salvation Army's Angel Tree
The Angel Tree program is a charity that provides new clothes, toys, and other gifts for needy children for Christmas. Go to the territorial website and ask for help: Central Territory, Eastern Territory, Southern Territory, Western Territory

Family Giving Tree
Dedicated to fulfilling holiday gift wishes of children who would otherwise go without.

Christmas Spirit Foundation
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation is committed to help needy children and families in the United States during the holiday season

Angel Tree
Angel Tree delivers Christmas gifts to the children of parents in prison.

Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child
This is a unique project of Samaritan's Purse that enables caring people to share God's love with hurting girls and boys in the far corners of the globe.

Make a Wish Foundation
Make this holiday season special by helping a child's dream come true. Make a Wish's unique holiday donation options will help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Toys For The Troop's Kids
Their goal is to put a smile on kids faces whose parent can't not be there for Christmas this year because they are serving our country. Brave  Dads and Moms, separated from their spouses and children at Christmas, have promised us that, for so long as they wear the uniform, we will be safe. Toys for the Troops' Kids feel their efforts are the least that they can offer to thank them for their sacrifice.

Local Food Banks
Local food banks donate food baskets to families so that they can have Christmas dinner.Google search: food bank + postal code

Local Schools
Many local schools try to provide food or gifts for needy students and their families. Contact the school system and ask for help.Google search: Schools + postal code

Local Children's Services Agency
Contact your local Children's Services Agency and ask if you can donate money or gifts for children that do not have family to spend their holiday with this year.Google search: Children's Services Agency + postal code

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