A friend of mine recently moved to the Republic of Congo. They are a military family stationed there for a few years and are sharing their experiences and pictures on facebook. It’s both fascinating and heartbreaking to click through her photo albums. Fascinating in how different and efficient their culture is with less, A LOT LESS, than any of us in America have ever had.
And heartbreaking because the children in the orphanges she is supporting have close to nothing.
These pictures make my heart hurt. If I could have any wish in the world it would be that children get to have a fair chance in life. That children don’t ever have to starve or fear for their lives or suffer. I’m not even there and I’m already emotionally attached (for better and for worse). I just want to scoop those sweet children in my arms and take them home. I want to give them love and an education and the things in life that make this world a better place.
I can’t though.
But what I can do is HELP. I can help this amazing soul of a friend help these children.
She is putting a lot of heart and effort into supporting two orphanages during her time there. It’s actually one of the most inspiring and positive things I’ve ever seen or been a part of; so many people coming together to support a friend in her efforts to make life better for many children.
This is life changing stuff.
Aside from necessary donations like food, clothing, pots/pans and those kinds of things she has put together a secret santa list for both orphanages. We are supporting a 17 year old girl and a two year old girl for the secret santa. I’ve been thinking really hard about a gift (s) to give these girls. I want to give them something that could maybe give them hope or inspiration or happiness. I really want to give them a home and an education, but I can’t do that. What I can do is give them some comfort. Some happiness.
I thought about what makes me feel happy. Maybe the simple pleasure in my life could also make them happy? A good nights sleep. A hot shower. Coffee. A hug from a friend. Laughing. How do you gift these things though?
Well I had to compromise a bit, but here’s what I decided to send:
For the 17 year old girl: a comfy pillow, a tooth brush and some body lotion
For the two year old girl: a board book of colors and animals, sidewalk chalk and a ladybug pillow pet.
I know it’s not fancy to us, but the pillow I think will be a nice upgrade from sleeping on a cement floor. The toothbrush is a simple gesture to feel a little better. Because who doesn’t feel better when they are clean and fresh? And the body lotion is another gesture for her to just feel good. These are supposed to be Christmas gifts and not necessarily life changing gifts (because hopefully we are able to help provide them an education via donations and that will be life changing). But this is for Christmas.
Christmas is special. It’s love. It’s magic. It’s showing people the good that exists in an often times chaotic and negative world.
I don’t know these girls. I may never meet them. But I’m thinking of them and hoping they can have a better life.
Thanksgiving is next week. I’m thankful to be in a position to help and care for those in need.
Tis the season and spirit of giving.