I hate to shop. OK, maybe that is not completely true, but it is now on par with cleaning out the garage in that that it takes way too much time, and if I don’t do it, no one really notices but me. Grocery shopping is at the top of the “Do NOT LIKE” list, closely followed by all other kinds of shopping. The ONLY kind of shopping I enjoy is the kind we do every year to provide desperately needed items to those in need, often initiated by a coat drive or hat & glove drive at the kids’ school. And even though I hate to shop I managed to convince our local and amazing shop owners at Peter Kate and Two Sisters to give YOU a 20% discount on one item if you drop off gifts for this amazing cause!
And then there’s the magical experience of The Stocking Project, which I was lucky enough to co-organize with my best friend last year for St Michael’s School and Nursery in Wilmington, Delaware.
St Micheals Organization is an award-winning daycare/preschool/elementary school that serves its inner-city community by providing outstanding education and care to kids ages 8 weeks to 8 years. I can’t begin to say enough about the people who are involved in making St. Michael’s the amazing place it is, and a nationally recognized model for early-education . One of the schools “adopted” by the local Stocking Project, St. Michael’s kids often come from low income families who may or may not be in a position to provide Christmas for their children.
There’s nothing like the prospect of a child not having Christmas to kick my shopping gene into gear. And judging by the overwhelming response to our invitation to participate, I am not the only one who feels that way. My co-organizer and I invited our friends and colleagues to sign up via paperless post, which meant they agreed to provide the actual stocking stuffers or made a donation so that we could cover the cost of filling a stocking. Within days, we had a 100% commitment. The goal, which we met and exceeded last year, was to provide each child with a gift bag containing at least a hat & mittens, a book and a toy. Through the incredible generosity of local businesses and families, we were able to provide a bounty of toys, books, PJs, winter gear, and also a $50 grocery gift card for each family. I have lost count, but there were about 150 kids who received gift bags.
Besides seeing the joy on the kids’ faces and the tears streaming down the teachers’ faces as they rooted through their bags, the best part of the experience was watching my own children and their friends, ages 5-10, as they delivered bags one classroom at a time, starting with the babies, and got progressively more excited the older the kids were – obviously the babies had no idea what they were getting! My kids, who still believe in Santa, had a hard time understanding why he might not deliver presents to everyone. I believe I used something like “Santa will come, of course, but the parents might not be able to also buy presents for the kids.” That seemed to suffice. They really don’t want to think too much about it for fear they might not like the answer.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE CHRISTMAS HAPPEN FOR THESE 150 KIDS!!
To Support our cause Sissy, at Peter Kate has offered a 20% discount on one item with the donation of an unwrapped toy, book, gloves or pajamas in a CLEARLY MARKED BAG! Drop off at Peter Kate on December 11 or 12th for a 20% discount on one item!
Kara Hebert, another local angel, will also be offering a 20% discount off of one item with the drop off of one unused, unwrapped, toy, gloves, pajamas or book at her store TWO SISTERS on December 13 or 14!