I bought gifts for the Angel Tree for several years before I was married. This year I decided to introduce Alex and Sabrina to the idea of giving to others.
As we looked at the tree I couldn't help noticing that most of them were asking for extremely expensive items. Instead of asking for toys that their kids want these parents were asking for IPODS, MP3 Players, gaming systems, and IPADS. No wonder those were still on the tree! Only a handful of cards for younger kids were actually asking for toys.
Then Alex pointed out one that broke my heart. "Hey, Mommie, (his spelling) that one's for a little baby." It was the only one that was asking for basic needs; a walker, a high chair, clothes, toys, shoes, t-shirts, in that order. It made me cry.
I took the card and walked straight to the baby section. I called Frank who agreed that we could help. We decided that since we couldn't get both, the high chair was more important than the walker. The kids helped pick out the toys.
I told the kids that this family needed help buying things their baby needs. God has blessed us so that all of our needs are met and a lot of our wants. I told them about when Alex was a baby and Frank was out of work for a few months and how people helped us. Now we can help someone else. Alex was touched and happy to help. Sabrina started crying that she wanted toys.
To further illustrate the point, I didn't buy the extras that we sometimes buy. The kids got to spend their money, but I didn't buy the bookcase I had planned on or any books.
It really hit me hard that I take so much for granted when there's people out there who can't meet their basic needs.