I didn’t write a lot of letters to Santa when I was a kid. I did a few when I was very young and I wanted the hottest toys like a Cabbage Patch Kid doll, the Barbie Dream House, Atari, a Walkman or a massive hot wheels set. And, I was fortunate enough to have gotten them, along with essential items like pajamas, socks and underwear.
As I got older, I began volunteering. At this time of year, I’d respond to letters from children desperate to believe that someone, anyone out there cares enough to help them have a happy holiday. Those kids didn’t ask for video games, expensive toys, dolls or electronics like me. Most just wanted a warm coat, boots, pajamas and socks; the items I dreaded opening on Christmas Day. They also sometimes requested a toy or game to share with their siblings. I was never forced to share items with my brothers.
Each note has had an impact on me, making me re-evaluate the role money plays in my life. Certainly, I’ve been concerned about the lack of money over the years, especially as my medical bills mounted due to ongoing treatment for my chronic illness. But, I never truly feared being homeless or hungry or unable to buy essential items.
Children I’ve never met taught me that money is not a marker of happiness. It is a tool to be used to provide hope, experiences, freedom from worrying, ensure good health care and future security. It is a means to provide a child, who wasn’t as blessed as I was, with one good memory during difficult days.
(P.S. there’s still time to help if you’d like : https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com or
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