Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Santa Shipment!

Denise, I want to thank you so much for coordinating and doing the Santa shipment again this year.
I cannot tell you how much this shipment means to everyone who receives a gift from it.
The students who receive gifts are thrilled ...along with their families.

But the children who are not sponsored and who also receive gifts are really thrilled.
We take toys to many different villages to give out.

We try to make sure that every child that is sponsored and their siblings receive a gift.....we are always on edge not knowing whether we will have enough.

We try to do Christmas parties in each of the pre-schools so that each child there gets a toy. We bring Santa and it is a lot of fun.

We encourage any of sponsors, supporters and friends who would like to come down and have a lot of fun to think about coming down in the month of December when we give out the Tamale Baskets and give out toys.

We have groups from lots of different areas come to us asking can we please share some toys so that the children in their areas can also have the fun of receiving a toy.   It really doesn't have to be such a huge toy or brand new....these children are just so grateful to get anything.   Gently used is fine. We try to help as much as we can.   We have a radio station in Solola that we give a little basket of gifts to and they run a competition with it and have lots of mothers come in and try and get the basket for their families.  It doesn't have anything too much in it by Western standards but a stuffed animal, a little throw blanket and some a huge gift here for Christmas in Guatemala.   

The Paramedics also go around town on Christmas Eve and have Santa on the back of the truck. He throws little toys to all the children lining the streets.
They also have some candy they throw.
Each year the Bomberos ( Paramedics) come to us asking can we please help them with toys.   So we gather all the softest little toys that won't hurt anyone being thrown from the truck, soft little balls, baby toys, bouncy balls , mc Donalds toys etc and we give a big bag to the Bomberos so that they can make Christmas Eve fun for the children. 

One of our Staff members, Eddy, who is very community minded organizes a little Christmas party in his neighborhood every Christmas Eve. He spends weeks before hand going around to all the stores asking for donations of candy, collecting money to help buy the pinatas, they get donations to be able to make  a little food for each child, so that they have a drink and a tostado.  His father, Alberto is a clown and entertains the crowd.  They have games and we give them some little toys also to be able to give as prizes. 

We make up little ziplock bags of toys ( or plastic bags when we run out of ziplocks) and we put the little tiny toys we get, little dolls, little plastic planes and cars, metal cars, ....these were the most popular last year with the boys!!!   They were dying to get one of these bags that had all sorts of mysteries in them....there were pieces of Lego, McDonald's toys, action figures and the most treasured of all, little cars.   So please do not think that you don't have anything, just the things that your kids do not play with, will bring a lot of joy to the kids here.   There is nothing too small!

If it is possible to do a toy drive at your church, school or workplace, please think about doing it will mean so much to the children here.

Thank you everyone who is able to participate in these shipments.
We cannot tell you how fantastic it is.
Thank you Denise for all  your hard work and your willingness to do this.

We know it is a huge amount of work.

If you are not able to participate but would like to buy a gift for a sponsored child, we will have a list of the gifts available soon on our blog and will post it here.

If you would like to send a donation so that we can buy gifts for children here,...that would be wonderful.
Thank you so much!

Sharon Smart-Poage

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