Sunday, November 6, 2011

The giving box

Children want to give. Just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, children find it easy and inspiring to give when there is a process and a framework that helps them succeed.

At Sunday School a few weeks ago, Cady Gray heard about Operation Christmas Child. She asked if we could get one of the wrapped shoe boxes in the church vestibule and fill it with items for a child in need. It was easy to say yes, to pick up a box and a packet of instructions and labels.


Cady Gray dug through our closet of unused art supplies and unopened toys to find notebooks, markers, a tub of play-doh, a small stuffed animals. She ran to the bathroom closet to retrieve toothpaste and toothbrushes from her trips to the dentist. She picked out festive pencils and erasers from our large supply. She asked if we could include a small shampoo and lotion, and a crocheted scrubbie from my stash of last-minute gifts.


She knit a colorful butterfly, using a pattern she knew well. I sewed on the felt pieces and buttons she picked out.


And right before we sealed up the box with our donation to cover shipping inside and the label identifying it as intended for a 5-9 year old boy outside, she decided she wanted to write a note to the recipient. Here's what she wrote:
Dear ________ (write name here),

In this box there are things you might enjoy. I did my best to enclude as much as possible. My name is Cady Gray. I am 7 years old and in 2nd grade. My teacher is Mrs. Flowers. I have 1 brother and 0 sisters. I have 2 parents. I am the smartest kid in my class. I hope you have fun with the things in this box.


Cady Gray Murray

A box, a list, a label, and the idea of a child just like her -- a child who loves to be creative, who takes baths and brushes his teeth, whose imagination can take flight on a butterfly's colorful wings -- is all it takes for Cady Gray to give. Just like the rest of us.

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