Last week, I went to the toy store with a young boy that I’ve known for a long time. It was his birthday in November so I told him he could pick out two gifts: one for his birthday and one for Christmas.
I won’t lie, it felt amazing to be able to offer this young boy something that he never gets to do.
When I was a child, I remember the joy and excitement of going into a toy store and being able to choose whatever I wanted. So, for a child who has grown up in poverty to be able to choose a few toys…well, the selfish part of me felt pretty good about it.
That was until we got in the car. As I drove him home, he said,- “I am super excited about my remote-control car! I am just thinking about how I will be able to charge it.”
Right. He doesn’t have electricity in his home.
You would think that after more than eight years living in Guatemala and priding myself on knowing the realities of poverty that I would think about things like this, but the overzealous—Christmas—consumer part of me got in the way.
Because the fact is I did not grow up in poverty. Not only did I grow up with electricity, but also with Christmas gifts bursting from under the tree, the smell of cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, going ice skating with my family, indulging in Christmas candy, and being able to wear my special dress that my mom bought specifically for Christmas Eve.
I was and am privileged, and I am so thankful for all the blessings that I have received.
But, that is not how most of the world lives. That is not how Jesus who was born in a manger lived, and that is definitely now how the children of Escuela Integrada live. Christmas consumerism is in our face and it has become the norm. It bleeds into many areas of our lives—even the “do good” part of our lives.
As much as we would all love to give remote control cars and dolls to the kids at Escuela Integrada, the plain and simple truth is that they need their basic needs met first. They need things like bananas, eggs, beans and chicken.
This Christmas season we are providing a way for you to give this much-needed gift to the children at Escuela Integrada. Through the Healthy Start campaign, we can provide the students with breakfast and lunch for the next school year. You can select the items in your “grocery cart” that you would like to donate, and we will send you a holiday e-card. Consider this gift-giving idea for your loved ones this holiday season.
We ask you to come alongside us this Christmas and support the kids and families in Guatemala, as we fight to provide education, nutrition and spiritual direction.
I can promise that there will be more than 160 grateful hearts and smiling faces on the other side of your donation.
May you and your family have a blessed Christmas season!
Hannah Nadeau Girón