Christmas time is time for miracles, but most importantly, it’s the time where those miracles are often done by completely ordinary people. The charitable Christmas spirit that overwhelms us during the holidays is the perfect opportunity for those that do good on a regular basis to involve more and more people.
A non-profit corporation “Things of My Very Own, Inc.” that provides help to children that are in emergency situations, has decided to reach out to volunteers that could help other kids in need. According to their website, the corporation “provides crisis intervention services to children impacted by extensive abuse and/or neglect” and focuses on keeping non-abusive low-income families together and providing the means to keep children out of foster care. “Things of My Very Own, Inc.” has achieved many awards and honors for its charitable work, including one from President Barack Obama in 2010.
The team of “Things of My Very Own, Inc.” does everything to help out families, especially children, that are in a crisis
“When I was 14-years-old, I was placed in the foster care system. A few months later, another child who was also 14, was placed in the home. She was overweight and came in wearing clothing that would have fit a typical nine-year-old. One night as we were changing for bed, I noticed reddish-purplish welts on her skin from where her clothing had literally injured her. I made a silent promise to her that evening that when I grew up, I would do something to help children like her and I. In 2008 I incorporated Things of My Very Own, Inc. to bridge the gap between what social service agencies are able to provide and what children need.” the CEO and founder of the corporation, Rayn Boncie told Bored Panda.
“When I was in foster care, I was given the slip of paper and asked to write my holiday wish that was under $20. I was very depressed and wanted nothing more than to go home to my mother. I didn’t fill out the slip of paper because I was convinced that no one cared about me, and at the time, I didn’t care about myself either.” explained Boncie. She went on to elaborate on how it all changed. “About a week before Christmas, I was presented with a brown gift bag with a brown twine handle on it. Inside was a hairbrush, a bottle of TRESemme shampoo, and a bottle of TRESemme conditioner. I cried over those hair care products for several days and held onto them for decades as a reminder that someone in the world cared about me, even when I didn’t care about myself. Someone picked me, even though I didn’t fill out the slip of paper.” the founder concluded.
That’s why for the third year in a row, “Things of My Very Own, Inc.” has continued the program where children from poverty line families fill out little “gift tags” with some information about themselves, what size clothes they wear, what are their needs and what they’d wish to receive on Christmas. “Sponsors are being reminded of the important things in life and that children are just little people who like themselves, want nothing more than to be loved,” Boncie explained.
For example, this 3-year-old foster child has requested warm clothes and kids’ body wash. Her wish, however, is to receive a “My Little Pony” figurine for Christmas.
People are encouraged to take these tags and become personal Santas to the children, a sort of a secret-Santa, secret-guardian-angel kind of thing. One of the most beautiful things about this campaign was something no one ever anticipated. “Last year a little girl was sponsored by a gentleman who works at a local car dealership. She needed shoes, and he provided her with a sparkling silver pair, among other things. The little girl reached out to us and stated that she wanted her sponsor to have one of the shoes because she wanted to give back, and share the most beautiful thing in the world with him” Boncie revealed how the children want to give back something to show their gratitude.
Many of these notes add some background information about these homeless kids, and it makes it that much more personal and real and not just a note with requests. This 16-year-old boy who noted that his father had left the family and he needs to support his mother, requested clothes, but would really like to get “Nike” sneakers.
This 11-year-old boy’s note says that he has no friends because of mental issues, and he needs socks and underwear, while his Christmas wish is to get a nerf gun.
Another boy that’s 12 years old really needs a twin comforter set while he’d also like to get a twin sheet set, presumably for the same comforter. He also reports that he has ADHD, and “people think [he is] hyper.”
As a means of encouragement, the “gift tags” include a due date to remind people that the things written down are very much needed. Often times, when you’re in a crisis, the most haunting thing can be waiting. This 5-year-old boy has stage 5 kidney failure and is waiting for a transplant. His family requested a snowsuit, boots, underwear and more. The boy would also like to get anything related to “The Grinch” movies or “PJ Masks” or a “Hot Wheels” car set as a Christmas gift.
The age of the kids that request things varies, but the items they need remain relatively similar. Mostly clothes, basic need items. This 13-year-old’s note says that they’d lost a family member in a fire. Therefore, the family needs personal care items, food, and boots. They’d like to get anything related to cats.
“Each child receives a Wish Tag. Sometimes they fill it out, sometimes their non-abusive parent or caregiver does. Once the Wish Tag is completed, it is sent to a participating business. From there, an individual can go to the participating business to choose which child or children they wish to sponsor. The sponsor then shops for the children and brings the items back to the Crisis Intervention Center. The items are then distributed to the corresponding child.” Boncie explained how the process works.
You can get more information on where to locate these notes and how you can donate by clicking here. Maybe you could help out this 7-year-old boy who needs a full-size bedding pillow and wished for “something for grandma – she’s nice”.