I recently got in touch with one of my brother's classmates from West Point. He is currently in Iraq. I asked him if Katie and I could send him a boodle box (the West Point slang for a care package), but he said he didn't need anything. He mentioned that he is in an impoverished area in Iraq, so I suggested sending him the McDonald's toys that I usually collect for church missions. He said that would be a great idea. I emailed friends, neighbors, and my mom's club to ask for more toy donations. Everybody has extra McDonald's Happy Meal toys, right? Turns out we had 43 pounds donated in less than two weeks' time! We shipped the toys over to him, and he just emailed me photos of the soldiers handing out toys to the kids. I decided to make a video to share with you.
I got tears in my eyes over the photo of a boy holding one of those Parents brand pop-a-bead bug toys. That was our toy. It was given to Katie by my pledge sister, Eve, when she first met Katie. Jackson played with it too, but I decided at the last minute to include it in the box of toys we sent over. I wasn't sure it would be a toy that anyone would even want, since it's mostly just for babies. But now that I see the photos, I realize what an outrageous thought that was! We are so blessed with abundance in America that we have different toys for every single stage of a child's life. It's easy to forget that some kids don't have even one, much less a choice. Of course they'd be happy with a pop-a-bead toy!
My other thought while looking at the photos is that I'm so grateful to the soldiers who are able to hand out the toys on our behalf. Sometimes our pastors at church talk about how the church should be the hands and feet of Christ, and carry out God's mission. I feel the soldiers are doing that for God and for the rest of America. Thank God for them!
I am a lucky, lucky woman. I am an American. I am safe and secure at home. I am blessed with food and clean water. I have a college education. I have entertainment at my fingertips, and a closet full of clothes. I have FREEDOM. And I'm even luckier to be able to raise my children in America.