Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Giving Tree

I was talking to my sister the other day as she was shopping for Christmas gifts to give to needy children. Every year she take 2 tags off the Giving Tree; one boy and one girl. This year we decided to do the same. Since we don't have kids of our own, yet we have a ton of love to give, we thought that we would share some of that love with a child in need.

As I browsed the tree, I remember my sister telling me that she tries to pick the oldest kids because they always seem to be left behind. I thought of all the older kids in the need of a loving home, all of the older kids that I skipped over while checking out the adoption websites. It made me hurt. These kids do get picked over. I picked over them.

But, not today. Today, I searched the tree for the oldest kids I could find. Today, I was not going to leave them there, I was going to make their wishes come true. Little did I know that their wishes were going to be so simple. 

I thought that the kids would ask of iTunes gift cards, movies, or video games. I was very wrong. These kids asked for things I take for granted on a daily basis. Gum? Christmas Candy? Nail polish? I couldn't believe that that was all they wanted. One tag read: "socks and boxers", another said "hair brush set and perfume".

At 17 years old I was asking for the most expensive shoes, pants, CDs (music cds not cycle days), electronic devices and whatever else was in style at the time. The things on the these kids list were things that normally ended up stuffed into my stocking. It was humbling to see how easy I had it growing up and how easy it was going to be for me to grant these wishes for these young teens. These kids asked for so little that it was my duty to spoil them a little.

If you haven't ever visited the Giving Tree, I encourage you to do so. If we can't spend Christmas brightening the day of our own children we can at least try to brighten the day of those children a little less fortunate. 

Happy Holidays!

21 comments:

  1. I did one of these last year, but I missed the deadline for the pick-up. I ended up giving the gifts to another toy drive, but I felt so badly for the girl whose card I had. I'm going to pick up two tags this year and make my donation in time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So about older kids...I nannied for a family tonight that chose to adopt a 12 year old from Columbia. That was their mission. Not to adopt a baby, but to adopt an older child. I just think that is so awesome. He is a really super kid too. He's 16 now. I stalk my states adoption website and see all the pictures of the kids who are up for adoption. My heart wants them all. Good for you for remembering those older kids. They deserve a Christmas too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're so sweet! Glad you were able to make someone's holiday a little brighter this year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. Thank you for sharing this. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know anything about the giving tree but I would LOVE to know more! Is this something at your work? Or in your hometown? Or can anyone do it? I would love to do this instead of exchanging presents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found it through the Salvation Army. I would search any local charity in your area and see if they need anything!

      Delete
  6. Where is this giving tree? I've never heard of it but I love the idea! We sponsor a family every year for Christmas, but it would be nice just to help a kid or two as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sponsored through the Salvation Army! I found the tree at a local store but I have heard they are in churches as well!

      Delete
  7. I would love to do this, but I have never seen a giving tree anywhere. I have wanted to do something like this, or sponsor a family, but I always seem to be too late for it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wonder where the giving tree is around here, I've never done it but I've often thought about it. Thanks for sharing this story!

    I've been thinking a lot about how the kids who are really in need of adoption are the older kids. I feel guilty for not even considering them.... maybe someday down the road...

    ReplyDelete
  9. What an awesome thing to do! My parents used to do this at the church they attended. Since I don't attend church, I am not sure where I can find one. :/ Maybe we should go back to church...

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is amazing, the simple requests of these kids. This is a great post Teresa and good for you in participating. It's actually a little surprising the number of commenters that aren't familiar with a giving tree. Maybe it's an Oregon thing, because it seems like we have them all over! I'm not sure that's a good thing... meaning, do we have that many more kids in need?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad you decided to pick older kids. For those who don't know where to find a giving tree, just call your local school and ask to talk to the homeless liaison. I am sure they will be able to tell you a few things the kids in their school need and you can give in that way. A lot of times the high school kids will hide the fact that they are homeless, so getting a gift will mean a lot to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Union Gospel Mission also does giving trees. We have one at work. I don't have a link though.

      Delete
  12. I've always done this too, when I only had a son I would buy for a girl the same age. After having a daughter, I would buy one for each, varying ages. For those not familiar, some big employers do this, churches, or local charitable groups distribute and stores sponsor the trees. I've seen similar ones that are for socks, gloves and hats, etc. I like the specific ones where the child has picked something, it's like making a wish come true.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your giving heart, Teresa. It is so important to remember what this time of year is all about. I think it’s pretty cool that you chose gifts for older kids in need, as they are just as deserving. Where is the Giving Tree where you got your tags? I would like to do something like this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are pretty amazing yourself. I am reminded of that every time I wear my necklace! I got my tags off the tree at Rite Aid on the north end of 3rd. The gifts have to be returned by the 16th! I was amazed at how simple the gifts were that they were asking for. I wanted to spoil them rotten!!

      Delete
  14. You are so sweet to do this for others.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We do this at work (here it's called an Angel Tree). I picked a 12 year old girl who had asked for "cute, fuzzy socks" and "fun headbands." I was also surprised by the simplicity of her request. I love that you participated in this. What a giving heart you have!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog! Be sure to leave some comment love!