The joy, excitement and awe on a child’s face when they receive a gift is priceless! A memory etched on your heart forever.
It is this experience of bringing pure joy into the lives of young children who have very little, yet they always beam with an infinite hope, an innocence and sense of happiness that makes one forget that these children come from some of the most tragic background. This, my memory from when I worked in the community of Ocean View and Masiphumelele.
I’ve seen abuse, poverty and neglect in its worst forms, but I’ve also touched hope, love and faith. I’ve seen young children blossom when touched by kindness. I’ve experienced the power of forgiveness and acceptance.
I am reminded of my roots everyday, I see it in the homeless man sitting under the bridge, the drug addict scanning the area for his next hit, the gran counting her last few cents to pay for her meager purchase of bread and eggs, the street child – groomed to be a ‘gangster, runner, scammer’, the child with the sad eyes – crying out for help, the teenager searching for an escape from his poverty stricken life, the father returning home from a long day’s work – dusty and tired; I see my roots everywhere…
It is this life experience and understanding that drives me to register and commit to two Santa’s Shoeboxes every year. One from my son and one from my niece. The thought of bringing joy into a child’s life is worth all the sacrifice!
We nearly didn’t make it this year. At some point I even considered packing a clothing item worn by my son and an old toy no longer used. The sad reality of how expensive life has become…if only we had another week drifted my thoughts during this past week.
However, we’ve managed to pack brand new items in each box – a pretty dress (a dress my son wish we could give to cousin Faith, it is just sooo cute!), a superman t-shirt (a t-shirt my son really likes “ah I always wanted a t-shirt like this, but I know the boy will be so happy when he gets this in his box” my 7 year old reasons) and everything else – even a pair of spiderman sunglasses that we got at a bargain price of R29!!
We feel really good today, we pulled it off. We managed to meet our Santa’s Shoebox deadline. We may feel it mid-month, but the sacrifice is well worth it! There was no way that we were going to disappoint little Mihle and Brian, not in this lifetime!
Bringing hope, faith and love into the lives of others. The smallest act of kindness can bring forth the most amazing transformation.
Remember that anyone can make a difference, even YOU!