Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A special kind of shopping


A few days ago, Lissa, Kara and I took our girls, Megan, Keri and Nicki, to the mall—not just for ordinary Christmas shopping, but for a very special shopping trip. The three girls are Christmas angels for the Children’s Alliance, a non-profit that helps sexually abused children who are taken out of their homes.

The Children’s Alliance runs programs to help the kids regain their self-esteem and create stable home environments for them. They post info to alert and educate people about signs of possible sexual abuse in kids. And during the holidays they find a Christmas angel for each child, who gets to make three Christmas gift wishes totaling up to $50. Kara has served on the board of directors of this amazing charity and has been doing this with Keri for years, and we thought it would be great to let Megan and Nicki become Christmas angels too.

shopping 1

Since Christmas angels don’t meet their kids, we requested children of about the same ages as ours to help them identify better as they chose their gifts. Nicki is 10 and her child is a 9-year-old girl named Jiana. Here’s what Nicki has to say about the experience:

“It makes you feel good inside about what you’re doing. I never guessed how little she wanted—stickers, a Roxy shirt and a board game. If it was me, I would have asked for a Wii game. ”

shopping 2

I loved that the girls really took this mission to heart. They took tons of time really shopping for their child. They worked together and helped each other, asking, How about this? Do you think she’ll like that? Nicki kept saying how she really wanted something special for Jiana to open up on Christmas morning.

That whole afternoon was a selfless activity—no shopping for themselves, just strictly a time to think of other kids.

Kara says that the Children’s Alliance found a Christmas angel for each and every child this year, but there are many other ways that you can help throughout the year. For more information on this wonderful charity, go to www.cahawaii.org.