Four-year-old Alex’s world is very small. It’s just him and his mother, Clair, in a tiny, subsidized apartment building. They don’t have a lot of family nearby and chronic health concerns make it difficult for Clair to get out of their home.
With limited mobility and an even more limited budget, Christmas shopping was an annual strain for Clair.
At the top of Alex’s Christmas wish list last year was a piano. Clair loved music and had done everything she could to give her son an appreciation for its power and beauty. But a piano? In her tiny apartment? On her threadbare income? She felt hopeless.
Knowing how important this piano was to Alex – and Clair – Alex’s CityKidz captain, Missy, was determined to make his Christmas wish come true. As luck would have it, a miniature keyboard with two octaves of keys – just the right size for little Alex – had been generously donated to CityKidz Gift of Christmas toy drive.
Missy delivered the keyboard just days before Christmas. It was wrapped and ready for Alex’s mother to give to him on Christmas morning.
Clair was so grateful. To be able to give her child this gift of music was more than she had dared hope for.
Most Wonderful Time of the Year
For many of us, the holiday season brings back warm memories of Christmases past. We remember 20 lb turkeys, long dinner tables bursting with joyful conversation, overflowing stockings, decked halls and presents piled high. Memories that affirm the season as the most wonderful time of the year.
But what if it this wasn’t the most wonderful time of the year?
What if Christmas didn’t bring happy childhood memories of family and friends gathered around the tree sharing laughs, stories and hand-picked gifts just for you.
What if there was no tinselled tree, no mouth-watering feast? Or what if those who loved you had nothing to give except desperate explanations for empty stockings?
Imagine the disappointment of seeing the gifts of the season – tinsel, toys, turkey – in every home except your own.
It’s easy to feel forgotten when the joy and generosity of the season seem to find their way into every home but your own, especially when you’re a child.
Wishes and Want
Instead of being a time of gifts, feasts and family, for the 26,000 Hamilton children growing up in poverty, the holiday season is often a stark reminder of what they don’t have.
Stores and advertisements beam with shiny special things designed to capture children’s imaginations. Toys parade across screens and onto kids’ wish lists. For many parents like Clair, it’s a time of stress and dismay as tight budgets collide with children’s dreams.
Peace, Joy and Love may be the true gifts of Christmas, but that doesn’t make it any easier for kids to see gifts everywhere except under their own tree. For parents, it can be hard to feel joyful during the season of giving when you have little to give to those you love most.
How You Can Help
Fortunately, support from open hearts like yours can bring the joy of Christmas to thousands of children this holiday season.
Like you, CityKidz wants this to be the most wonderful time of the year for all children. That’s why we started the Gift of Christmas. It’s a program designed to help offset the stress and costs of gift-giving many low-income families experience each December.
The Gift of Christmas is faith, hope and love wrapped up and delivered as meaningful presents, a warm meal and a Christmas celebration for each of our CityKidz children. For thousands of kids and their families, it’s a reminder, at the time of year when they need it the most, that they are not forgotten, they are loved and there is hope.
$25 is all it takes to make Christmas wishes come true for a precious child like Alex.
Together, we can make sure the joy of season the finds its way into every child’s home this Christmas. Thank you!