tis the season for the kids

Toys for Tots donation (distributed by the Marines)

Recently I was shopping at Zara’s on Newbury Street. One of the sales people came up to me and said, “I remember meeting you when I worked at Equinox. You told me about your annual gift donation for the children. I loved that idea and that you did it every year.” I had totally forgotten about our conversation. We often forget how we can touch people in lasting ways. Perhaps I had shared my story to inspire her to do the same some day. I would hope so.

It all began during the Iraq War. One of my friends, a fighter pilot in the Air Force on his assignment there, contacted me with a specific request. He asked for donations to help the children and impress them with the kindness of the American people. I sent him soccer balls, regulation size (which he asked for), as well as some art supplies that I tucked in of course.

After that, I gave my myself an allowance each year to play Secret Santa. Sometimes I filled my cart at BJ’s and left it all under their giving tree. Other times it was art supplies or books which I gave to various organizations. It has been so fun to pick out the items and so gratifying to share my good fortune with the little ones.

My options have changed since I moved to Boston. It’s also become easier. This year all I have to do is ride the elevator with the items pictured above and place them in a bin in our lobby. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? The wonder and awe of the season as seen through the eyes of the children. 🙂