It's that time of year where our kids set out to make their list for Santa. Whether it's the hottest toy of the season, a pair of shoes they saw at the mall, or the newest game system, it seems like the list gets more extravagant every year.
It can be easy to lose touch during the holiday spending, and forget that not everyone can afford to give their kid's a Christmas filled with electronics, games and new clothes. But not everyone's kids have expectations of expensive gifts.
That's why this note from a 10-year-old boy is really hit home for me and I'm sure many others. I'm surely not the only one who gets all wrapped up in the holidays.
His request is not for fancy gifts under the tree, but rather, for snacks. The reason for it is heartbreaking.
"I'm a 10-year-old boy," the note begins. "I want school snacks so I'm not the only one not eating at snack time at school. I wear size 12 and I like Pokemon."
The note was shared last year on the "Things of My Very Own, Inc" Facebook page, which is a nonprofit that provides services to kids.
Each year, Things of My Very Own calls out to the community to sponsor a child in crisis. The nonprofit asks local businesses to host "Holiday Giving Trees" where small notes like this one can hang from the branches.
In just a few simple words this young boy was able to bring to light the real problems kids experience in families facing food insecurities.
His story caught the attention of many generous people around the world, who have stepped up to do good in these kids lives.
"Individuals have contacted us from Italy, the UK, Canada and other countries asking how they can help improve the lives of children in crisis," Rayn Boncie of Things of My Very Own told Babble. "A woman from Switzerland contacted Visco's and purchased $500 worth of pizza for the children we serve. In addition to donations, we would love it if people from around the world would send postcards with messages of hope printed on them. It would be so amazing for these children to see just how many people believe in them."
While this may seem like a simple gesture, it's much more.
"Many of these children struggle, feeling that they are completely alone in the world," she shares. "This outpouring of support proves that someone in the world, someone they have never met, believes in them. When they are in that courtroom, waiting to find out where they are going to be placed, someone in the world is thinking of them. Someone in the world cares about their well-being."
As for the boy:
"This is a wonderful young boy who we have had the privilege of working with through our organization," Boncie said. "We met him earlier in the year and like most of the families we work with, this one struggles."
As for his wish:
"This little boy will have snacks at school for a very long time," she shares, "but he isn't the only one that asked for food and he isn't the only one who needs help. Right now there is an outpouring of support. For these children, I hope it lasts. These children need to know that they matter, that they are not forgettable, and that they aren't something that we only pay attention to once a year."
I hope you will consider giving to those in need near you this holiday season.