Editorial: Christmas joy through giving a toy

By on December 19, 2013

We often hear about the spirit of Christmas and how it’s better to give than to receive. However, in today’s world of Black Friday punchout sales, an overflowing marketplace of technological gadgets and “hot Christmas gifts of the season,” and those obnoxious commercials featuring overpriced “luxury” automobiles wrapped with a big bow, it’s so easy to forget about the reason why Christmas exists in the first place: to bring joy to the loved ones in our life through both gesture and gift. And not just any gift, but rather gifts that are from the heart and not just the wallet.

Times are still hard in this country, though, and that means people do not have the privilege to wake up to a Christmas tree surrounded by neatly wrapped presents. It’s a sad truth that an overwhelming group of parents in this country do not have the financial means to give their children the Christmas morning they deserve. And when you consider that truth from the child’s perspective, it’s simply heartbreaking.

Imagine a child in this community waking up on Christmas morning with the understanding that their home wasn’t a stop on Santa’s route, even though they were extra good all year long, and even though they asked for so very little. No child should have to feel that way on what is supposed to be the most joyous of mornings. Yet so many do.

Several groups within the Kaneland community hold children’s clothing and toy drives as a way to help make it a special Christmas for every child in the area. We ask that you seriously consider donating at least one toy this holiday season. It’s the most selfless act possible, and even a little can mean so very much to an underprivileged child in this area.

If you’re interested in donating a toy or gift item, call your village hall and ask them if the village has a toy dropbox available.

There are other ways to give back this holiday season. Holiday Spirit, a joint program between the Kaneland Schools and Conley Outreach/West Towns, is in need of groups to adopt local families in need this holiday season. Last year, Holiday Spirit provided assistance to 160 children in 63 families through the donations. The program anticipates that the need will be just as great this year.

Those interested in adopting a family can contact Kaneland John Shields Elementary social worker Nicole Pryor at (630) 466-8500, ext. 108, or nicole.pryor@kaneland.org or West Towns Coordinator Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880 or conleyor@conleyoutreach.org. Visit www.conleyoutreach.org to download the donation form. Monetary donations are also needed to purchase last minute gifts and for gas gift cards. Checks payable to Holiday Spirit can be sent c/o Conley Outreach, P.O. Box 931, Elburn IL 60119.

The Sugar Grove Food Pantry is also accepting toys and donated goods through Monday, Dec. 23, at its drop spots located at the Green Acres dry cleaning next to Sugar Grove Jewel, Village Hall, Sugar Grove Animal Hospital, Old Second National Bank and Castle Bank.

Remember, a little bit of time and money on your end can go toward making sure that this Christmas is the best one ever for a local child. And that’s true happiness on what should be the most joyous of holidays.