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charity adopt a family gift concern


TeeDee
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Every year we "adopt a needy family" through our church. You are given a paper with info about the kids: sizes, favorite colors & gift wish list.

 

This year one of the three kids I was assigned wanted Hello Kitty stuff. The kid is 4; she wasn't even born when Hello Kitty was popular. Well no stores had this. I don't on-line shop & I have to give the presents to the sponsor organization tomorrow by noon so I can't order on line at this point anyway. I got a generic pink stuffed animal cat. Somebody please tell me I'm not terrible.

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No - not terrible at all. The opposite. I'm not a fan of these kinds of very specific preferences for presents (I've been involved in similar programs through my son's school/workplace). I likely would have done a gift card with a note that her caregiver could buy a Hello Kitty. I'm totally fine with the lists these days of what kinds of food items are best to provide -that is really helpful and I am glad I can shop for those. We did that too for a holiday food drive.

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It's not an ego contest, it's about giving a disadvantaged kid something, no? This is not about trampling over people to get whatever exact special thing. If your church expects that maybe you should reconsider this program or that particular church.

Every year we "adopt a needy family" through our church. I got a generic pink stuffed animal cat.
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It's an expectation I placed on myself but the list was so specific & it's a kid. I specifically don't take the families where the ask is for the new I-phone or some other $1000 thing, not that I could afford that but honestly until I shopped I didn't know Hello Kitty was out of style. Did I get the wrong substitute with the generic pink cat? Is there something I could have gotten that is better? I don't give gift certificates or gift cards; I know people love the convenience but I think they are lazy gifts, like the sender didn't care enough to try to figure it out.

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It's an expectation I placed on myself but the list was so specific & it's a kid. I specifically don't take the families where the ask is for the new I-phone or some other $1000 thing, not that I could afford that but honestly until I shopped I didn't know Hello Kitty was out of style. Did I get the wrong substitute with the generic pink cat? Is there something I could have gotten that is better? I don't give gift certificates or gift cards; I know people love the convenience but I think they are lazy gifts, like the sender didn't care enough to try to figure it out.

 

I suppose you could go to any Japanese-themed shop and buy something similar, if not Hello Kitty specifically. For example a Rilakkuma plush.

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It's an expectation I placed on myself but the list was so specific & it's a kid. I specifically don't take the families where the ask is for the new I-phone or some other $1000 thing, not that I could afford that but honestly until I shopped I didn't know Hello Kitty was out of style. Did I get the wrong substitute with the generic pink cat? Is there something I could have gotten that is better? I don't give gift certificates or gift cards; I know people love the convenience but I think they are lazy gifts, like the sender didn't care enough to try to figure it out.

 

From my many years of personal and indirect experience people who are having financial difficulties love cash. The end. Or a gift card to a standard place like Target. My mother sends us cash for our birthdays, anniversary, holidays - not because she is lazy and not because we are in financial difficulty -because she wants us to buy what we like -and she sends a lovely card. I also get actual gifts and frankly I've gotten so many useless knick knacks over the years it's ridiculous. And toys for my son he plays with for five minutes. And an unasked for tadpole that died and upset him so. Cash or a gift card to a place they know I like is much appreciated. So is cash.

 

I have a friend who is struggling financially and has serious health issues and she stayed up the last few nights crafting to make christmas gifts for family members. Cute stuff she made and sure her nephew might love the display piece she made with the child's name and put it on her table and think of her Aunt and instead of the sleep deprivation, the stress she told me about, the trips to the craft supply store, the putting aside her contract work to put food on the table -begging her mother in law to babysit her kids Extra hours so she could do all this crafting -she's making these cute personalized crafts because "gifting is her love language.” Please. If her family wouldn't appreciate a gift card and a nice card to go with it then that says more about the recipient.

And meanwhile my friend is stressed, sleep deprived and struggling. I'm sharing this example because I'm so tired of this emphasis on gifts and pickiness about gifts and assumption that someone who clicks on a gift card instead of a pair of holiday socks is lazy.

 

The whole point of giving gifts to these particular children is so their families can have a present wrapped to give their child - one is plenty whether they are poor or rich (and some families do giving to others instead of gifts - like to these families!). Whether they use a gift card to buy something or wrap what you gave is irrelevant. This year I gave a book, a writing pad and a target gift card for the school and work foster kids gift drive. No specifics were given other than age range of kids

 

I heard a former foster child on the radio yesterday who said that the gift drive she was a recipient of made her feel great to get that one gift - she didn't care if others got more, she didn't care if it wasn't from "Santa" -she just liked that feeling of getting something small at that time of year. Whatever it was. And now she helps giving to others. I don't think it would have ever occurred to her to think of any giver as "lazy".

 

Last year we gave a Target gift card to the school bus driver. She works her behind off I know. I'm not sure if anyone else gave anything and I don't care. She gave my son a card to give to all of us - how much she appreciated our thoughtfulness, how she wished us all the best - it was gushing in that card -she was overwhelmed. I guess I was really lazy giving her the equivalent of cash - should I have had my son hand her a mug with his photo on it? Or a kitcschy coffee table book about our city?

Edited by Batya33
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Why not help in real ways then. Go out and do something. Visit hospitals, serve at a soup kitchen, do something better than worry about designer toys. How do you know some disadvantaged child is even getting this?

 

What is the point if it's all about designer stuff? If they want iphones or expensive gifts, they don't belong in a charity program.

 

It sounds like your church is not being honest or pocketing money/gifts? There are so many decent things you can do and real ways you can give that this designer nonsense seems a bit silly. Why would your church do that to you? Why participate in this type of thing if you have difficulty with it?

Did I get the wrong substitute with the generic pink cat? Is there something I could have gotten that is better? I don't give gift certificates or gift cards; I know people love the convenience but I think they are lazy gifts, like the sender didn't care enough to try to figure it out.
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From my many years of personal and indirect experience people who are having financial difficulties love cash. The end.

 

I understand & do donate financial to other direct giving charities. This project is something that local organizations around here do. The recipients know how it works. They specify sizes & toy choices. The donors get them for the kids.

 

If I was asked to give $100 to a needy family. I probably would not do it. However, I will buy presents.

 

I do give to food banks & Toys for Tots, the Marine Corp charity.

 

Throughout the year I am actively involved in groups that help wounded veterans & their families. I volunteer on the board of trustees for an ARC which runs 7 group home & have done hands on activities with Special needs kids at a specialized camp, as well as helped to make special Halloween & prom events for them. I work with charities that care for the elderly, especially those below the poverty line. I have given clothing & taught job skills work shops to multiple organizations who support battered women.

 

Why not help in real ways then. Go out and do something. Visit hospitals, serve at a soup kitchen, do something better than worry about designer toys. How do you know some disadvantaged child is even getting this?

 

What is the point if it's all about designer stuff? If they want iphones or expensive gifts, they don't belong in a charity program.

 

It sounds like your church is not being honest or pocketing money/gifts? There are so many decent things you can do and real ways you can give that this designer nonsense seems a bit silly. Why would your church do that to you? Why participate in this type of thing if you have difficulty with it?

 

I do help in real ways. See above.

 

The Church is being honest. I don't usually have difficulty with this. It's just this Year. I could not find that brand -- Hello Kitty. I had no idea it was scarce / not in stores & feel badly about disappointing the child who asked for that. I don't internet shop. Although I was assigned my family before Thanksgiving, I set aside yesterday to shop. The gifts had to be wrapped & turned into this morning. Thus by the time I realized I could only get Hello Kitty on line it was too late.

 

Although there have been a few scammers over the years, the groups that spearhead this Christmas project identify the families who participate -- through schools, through social services organizations etc. You can't just put your name in. There are checks & balances. In years past for other organizations that work with the direct support groups, I have been on the delivery teams. . . so I have seen the poverty 1st hand.

 

The toy giving is the fun part for me. Next weekend I will be part of a team that will stuff 150 boxes with groceries plus food store gift cards to deliver to some of these same families.

 

My ONLY concern with this post wasn't to have people on the internet judge me or my charity of choice but for somebody to try to reassure me that a substitute pink cat will not ruin some kid's Christmas.

 

I am at peace with my level of giving & how I deal with my social responsibilities. I didn't come here to brag but to seek reassurance. I don't have kids. I am truly fearful that I did harm here not good even with the best of intentions.

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You were responding to Wiseman on the volunteer work you do -I did not comment in that way -and I wouldn't, in this situation but I want to comment now. Thank you so much for all you do, how you contribute, the many you inspire. From the bottom of my heart.

 

And we can agree to disagree that giving a gift card is lazy LOL ;-)

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She's 4, she'll be just as happy with a doll.

 

Kids at that age can be just as content with just about anything.

 

Don't stress, the mom most likely wrote Hellokitty as 4 year olds don't care too much about names and brands.

You're doing a good thing, just focus on that.

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Tee your heart is kind

 

The little girl is only 4 she didn't know she was asking for a branded gift bless her , it is really I suppose up to the adults to sway children away from expensive gifts / branded gifts and although hello kitty is all over ebay for the uk , if you are not an ebay'er then you wouldn't have known ..a lot of it is classed as collectable and the soft toys are things that are up for bid rather then buy it now ( I just had a little look ) so not an easy task really .

What you did was get a little girl something as close as you could ...and that Tee .....is all ALL ALL that matters . Be blessed for your kindness and thankyou for looking after the veterans as well x

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The lists for presents are just suggestions. So you have an idea, please don't worry about it.

 

I'd like to share a personal story so you can get another perspective. When I was 14 and my brother was 12, our family received one of these Christmas hampers. It was a surprise, as I remember my mom crying when they brought it to our door. My father and brother had been in a motorcycle accident that summer, hit by a drunk driver. My father died, my brother was very seriously injured. We had spent that summer living in Ronald McDonald House, to be with my brother at the hospital. I then lived with various friends and family so I could go to school, while my mom and brother were still at the hospital over an hour away. November they came home and we could be together again in our home, though my brother still needed full time care for his injuries for a long time after.

We each received a small gift in that basket that was also brimming with food. I'm pretty sure there would have been no gifts that year, as I don't even know how my mom was managing bills. I got pyjamas, with a tag that said " for IAG". It was special not only to have something as a gift, but knowing people were thinking of me, even in a small way, it meant so much at that time as obviously with everything going on there wasn't much that was just for me.

 

So I just want you to understand how much you thinking of that little girl, caring, her getting something that is " just for me" - the acknowledgement - can mean.

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In the spirit of this thread , I have a little story , not Christmas but none the less ....beautiful ..two stories infact

 

When my emily was only 2/3 I was very very broke ...not as desperate as some get but I was down to two crusts of bread and half a pot of jam . We all get family allowance of £20 a week , it was about £12 back then , and cap in hand I went , feeling humiliated to the post office to see if they would let me have it a couple of days early ..just to see me over those couple of days for food .They where not allowed of course and I felt lost ...the lady at the counter , who I saw every week , so she knew me to say hello to , suddenly leant forward and whispered , stay there a minute I will come out from the counter ...she got her own purse and lent me the £12 with the trust I would give it straight back ...she was the difference between nothing and something with one kind gesture

 

second story ...This was just over 5 years ago ...I was questioning an ebay seller about the sizes of these fab hippie coats he was selling ..not cheap stuff either .70/80 quid they were ..I decided on the size ( I like to buy big to accomodate 55 jumpers undearneath for when I am on my bike ) I emailed him to say what I wanted and then our world turned upside down ..I got a call to say my mum was dying ..you know ..NOW ..type of thing , I was 200 miles away and don't drive and had missed the last coach to my hometown , so I had to get a taxi .

Anyway she hung on till I got back and sadly died with me by her side and I stayed that end of the uk untill the funeral . It was then that I realised I had left this ebay seller with an order but no money ..so I wrote to him and just told him the truth ..I said to keep it on hold untill I get back in a couple of weeks and will have the funds again ..he completely understood that I had had a sudden expense and all was good .

 

I arrived back here a couple of weeks later and there was a parcel waiting for me ...it was the coat with a note saying .... * a gift for you , no money required , you are having a sad time and we wanted to do something nice , all I ask is that you pay it forward ) ....

 

One gesture of kindness can change a persons day .

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I think there are more good people than the opposite. But the media prefers to report bad news. Studies have shown people prefer to see a train wreck over a feel good, charitable giving story.

 

I see people doing good every day. Good for you, OP, for being one of the generous ones.

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The lists for presents are just suggestions. So you have an idea, please don't worry about it.

 

I'd like to share a personal story so you can get another perspective. When I was 14 and my brother was 12, our family received one of these Christmas hampers. It was a surprise, as I remember my mom crying when they brought it to our door. My father and brother had been in a motorcycle accident that summer, hit by a drunk driver. My father died, my brother was very seriously injured. We had spent that summer living in Ronald McDonald House, to be with my brother at the hospital. I then lived with various friends and family so I could go to school, while my mom and brother were still at the hospital over an hour away. November they came home and we could be together again in our home, though my brother still needed full time care for his injuries for a long time after.

We each received a small gift in that basket that was also brimming with food. I'm pretty sure there would have been no gifts that year, as I don't even know how my mom was managing bills. I got pyjamas, with a tag that said " for IAG". It was special not only to have something as a gift, but knowing people were thinking of me, even in a small way, it meant so much at that time as obviously with everything going on there wasn't much that was just for me.

 

So I just want you to understand how much you thinking of that little girl, caring, her getting something that is " just for me" - the acknowledgement - can mean.

 

Oh my goodness. And so good of you to share here.

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