Thoughtful Parenting: The joy is in the giving
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Many years ago, when I was a child, I remember my mom organizing a toy drive for our community. She collected toys and distributed them to churches for families to collect. My mom has always believed that every child should be able to open a present on Christmas morning.
I was in awe of her kindness and compassion for these children that she would never know. Little did I know, many years later, we would go on to create a nonprofit in our own community, which is three generations strong.
It all began in 2007. Someone approached me about helping provide Christmas gifts for a family in need. I was ecstatic and could not wait to go out and purchase the gifts. I thought, now it is my turn to give back, just as my mom had done so many years ago.
My two daughters were incredibly young when I began this mission. For many years, they watched as toys and clothes filled our house during the holidays. They witnessed the community coming together year after year to help those less fortunate and found that the holiday spirit was more about giving than receiving.
Now in 2020, where we once were only able to make a few families’ Christmases magical, we have been able to aid over 20 families, with the help of friends and neighbors who also share the love of giving. Our community continues to amaze us on how they can come together to help those we will never know. It has become one of our family’s most treasured holiday traditions.
This holiday season, I encourage you to reach out to your favorite nonprofit to see how you and your child can make a difference in someone’s life. It can be as simple as a pair of socks, a new toothbrush or a new stuffed animal to larger items like a new coat or snow boots. Then set aside some time to reflect on your act of kindness and how it brought a bit of sunshine to someone else’s life.
Amber Anderson is a licensed child care provider and president of Bit of Sunshine. For more information, visit bitofsunshine.org.
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