Munchkin recently turned five. We celebrated his big day with a party at our local bowling alley. We invited a few of our friends and their children. We had a wonderful turnout of about twelve children and nearly 20 adults. Everyone had a fantastic time.
When sending out the invitations I included the following note:
We are celebrating Jackson’s very special 5th birthday in a very special way. In lieu of a gift for Jackson please bring a new, unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots. (We will have a designated collection bin to keep the toys out of the birthday boy’s sight.)
Note: According to Toys for Tots, hard to fill age groups are boys and girls ages 0-2 and 11 and up.
We are so excited to share Jackson’s special day with some very special children. Thank you for being part of it.
With a late November birthday and Christmas one month later, it doesn’t make sense to us, for folks to lavish gifts on Jackson simply for the sake of gift giving. [Please know, I’m not holding this out there for everyone to do. I’m simply telling you what worked for our family—thus far.] We had a fabulous response. It was far better than we could’ve ever hoped for or dreamed of. Everyone brought a toy. Heck, many people brought multiple toys. The bags I brought to collect them were overflowing. Immediately following the party we took the bags of toys to our town’s community center and deposited them in the Toys for Tots bins. Munchkin was thrilled to do it, and led the charge. Through the generosity of our friends we were able to bless easily more than a dozen children on Jackson’s special day.
Now here’s the funny part of the story—the rub, if you will. A friend of our family who attended the party mentioned it to a friend of hers. Her friend is the parent of a six-year-old boy. Our friend’s friend thought our toy drive was cruel to our son. That’s the word she used. “Cruel.” Now, last I looked, toy drives weren’t listed under the definition of “cruel” in the dictionary. As a matter of fact, the definition is: inflicting pain or suffering without pity. That said, how far from the meaning of that word could a toy drive fall?
What have we come to as a society, when a fellow parent labels you as cruel for soliciting and giving gifts to another child? If that’s your definition of cruel then I say bring it on. As a matter of fact, your definition of cruel is a label I’ll happily accept on behalf of my family and one we’ll proudly sport.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. ~1 Timothy 6:17-19