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giving happiness global impact

Day 79: A Toy Story

Photo by Karen Somers Photography

My husband and I brought our adopted son home almost 3 years ago to the day. It was the single greatest day of my life. He was just 11 weeks old and we will always consider him to be our miracle baby. When you decide to adopt a child there are so many things to consider: local adoption, local private adoption, international private adoption, a country for a private adoption, girl or boy (or does it matter) and in some cases the colour of their skin. When you decide to become a parent you don’t consider all these factors other than holding your child in your arms and letting your heart fill with love.

People are always surprised when I tell them my son is adopted. We look remarkably alike. We are asked the same questions by curious friends. Which country did Nicolas come from? How much did the adoption cost? So many people are adopting from out of country these days and it is known such adoptions include staggering bills to go along with it. My husband and I chose a different route. We did our research and chose to go through the Ministry of Children & Family Development or Family Services as most people refer to it.

You never realize how many children need a home right here in Canada until you dig deep and research the numbers. It is estimated that there are 22,000 children waiting to be adopted in Canada. The majority are older children over the age of 3 with the potential of emotional or physical needs. This is why we consider our son a miracle as he was so young and in good health.

My GIVE today is to support at least one of these children in care over holiday season. Those 22.000 children are in the care of a foster family waiting for their “forever family.” Foster parents are not paid a lot of money considering the cost of raising a child these days and any support I am happy to help any way I can this holiday season.

Give 79 / Day 79

While shopping in our local Mall last week I notice they had a drop box for unwrapped new toys for children in need this holiday season. Toy drives are very common at this festive time of year and with the luxury of having an abundance of toys for my son to choose from at home, I wanted him to help me choose a gift for a child that might not receive as many gifts as he will this Christmas from friends and family. We headed out on a mission to find a lovely gift we could add to the Toy Drive box that will specifically support children that are in the care of Children and Family Services. They gave us the greatest gift of our life and the least we can do is support them with their toy drive.

If you don’t have children of your own or have never taken a 3 year old into a toy area of store it is always a fun treat. My son is now old enough he realizes Mom has the money to pay for toys and is happy to ask for just about everything he sees. ” Mom let’s buy this!” is is on going phrase of choice as we peruse the toy section. I had to remind him we were not there to buy gifts for him but instead for a child that may not receive a toy this Christmas. A big concept for a 3 year old. We took our time and I gave him 3 toys to choose from that I knew would last for longer than the 5 minute attention span most children have for a new toy. We chose a bath toy that included a boat and lots of marine life. I knew from experience that it would be a good teaching tool and make for a nice long bath filled with entertainment and engaing a child’s imagination. We also chose a whistle that a conductor would use to call passengers to board a train. It could be use a musical toy or to recreate the sound of a train whistle for a child with a passion for Thomas the Train. ( A big hit with children right now)

Off we went to the mall to drop it in the toy box and one more quick explanation why were were giving these great toys away rather than keeping it for my son’s personal use.

There are children in need all over the world from our own back door to the other side of the world. What can you do this holiday season to bring just a little joy to a children’s life that may not otherwise get a visit from Santa this season? If we all did just one thing there would be millions of happier children this Christmas. I may not be helping them all but I will bring some joy to at least one.

Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Cost: $20.00

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
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Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
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MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)