Kids have some strange requests. From ponies to robots, we've heard it all when it comes to Christmas wishes. The children in this story, however, just want the necessities — simple things, like shampoo and toothpaste, that most people don't think twice about buying. While their wish lists make you sad, the response to them has been nothing short of magical.
This year, Things of My Very Own — a New York-based nonprofit that provides crisis intervention services to children impacted by extensive abuse or neglect — asked children to write in what they'd like for Christmas on tags.
“This year we decided to create tags that list the specific wishes of children in our area. None of them list the year's hottest toy; instead, they list children's innermost hopes and dreams: 'a Dad,' 'new clothes so I won't get picked on,' or something as simple as 'a comb.' Perhaps most heart-wrenching was the teen boy who asked for feminine hygiene products for his younger sister, so she wouldn't have to keep missing school,” Things of My Very Own founder Rayn Boncie wrote on Facebook.
“Every tag is connected to a child who wants to believe that someone in the world cares about their well-being,” Boncie continued. “If we can show them for one moment that someone put their needs ahead of their own, maybe they will finally believe that what they have endured does not need to define who they grow up to be."
On Tuesday, the organization shared a few of the children's responses on Facebook and some of the answers were heartbreaking.
One child wrote: “I'm a 10-year-old boy. I want school snacks, so I'm not the only one not eating during snack time at school.”
“I'm a boy. I am six years old. This Christmas I want food or my mom. Thank you. I love you Santa,” wrote another.
The beautiful news is that offers of help are already rolling in. "For many of these children, we are the spark of hope that lights up their otherwise dark world. Many individuals and businesses have already stepped up, asking for tags; and for these children, we hope it is only the beginning," Boncie said.
The tags are numbered and are available for people to pick up if they wish to buy the presents listed on the tag. If you'd like to help purchase a gift for one of these children, visit the Things of My Very Own website at thingsofmyveryown.org.
When Boncie was 14 years old, she was placed in the foster care system. A few months in to her stay, another foster child arrived. This little girl was also 14, but came in wearing “clothing that would have fit a small nine-year-old.”
“I remember seeing her change for bed and noticed reddish-purplish welts on her skin,” Boncie wrote. “Her clothing had literally injured her. I made a silent promise to her that day, that when I grew up, I would do something to help children like her and me,” and that's how Things of My Own came about.
In 2008, Boncie launched the organization out of her home. By 2010, Things of My Very Own had served more than 5,000 children in need. Today, the organization funs out of a 20,000 square-foot building.
What a beautiful mission! We're so glad people are coming forward to help this holiday season. After all, isn't that the true spirit of Christmas?
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