Monday night I got to volunteer at the Salvation Army, it was the most rewarding and amazing experience!
We bought some wooden ornaments and markers and had all the kids living there color an ornament for Christmas! They loved it, it was so amazing to see them light up with joy that they had gotten something all of their own. Santa Claus showed up and they went wild! Some kids ran up to him and gave him hugs and others were very shy, but with a little push and encouragement they were sitting on his lap in no time!
This little buddy was shy at first and asked me if I would sit with Santa with him, It was precious!
(I realize I have like 8 chins in this picture, It was awkward being 23 and sitting on Santa, I know him personally, awkward positioning!)
This family goes to my church, the mom was in an abusive marriage and a drug abuser. She came to Salvation Army and has turned her life around in such a positive way. My mom knows her substance abuse counselor personally and she says that "mom" (can't use their real names) is one of the biggest turn around and most accomplished clients she has ever had!
After Santa and ornament decorating we made cookies and hot chocolate! They were ecstatic! They all kept calling it hot coco and would act really cold as they drank it! haha It was incredible how well behaved and wonderful all the children were, there are currently 16 of them living in this station along with their mothers and 20 or more single women. They can live at the site for 6 months as their moms recover from various issues and abuse with the help of counselors and guidance. Each mother and child learns manners, traits and skills for every day life. It was so nice to see the manners that the kids had been learning put into action I heard yes mam, no mam and thank you all night long, they were so appreciative of everything we were doing!
I read The Night Before Christmas to all the kids after cookies and coco!
After reading the story one of the kids asked if she could keep the book, unfortunately I had borrowed the book from a family friend so I had to say no. It literally broke my heart. I asked the director if the children needed books, her response: yes, desperately. She said the children will sometimes take the few books they have with them to school or when they leave the center and they are short almost 100 books.
I think reading to a child is one of the most important things in growth for a kid. I think anyone who has ever had a younger sibling, been a babysitter or in teaching would agree with me, books and children go hand in hand.
So here is my proposal
I want to donate at least 50 books to that center by Christmas. It doesn't matter if they're new or used, the children will love them and appreciate them! If you would like to help out and donate a book or two please email me-
With all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays I know its easy to forget about those less fortunate but these books will make these kids Christmas! If we could donate just a few then my heart will be full!
Have a blessed day!