Friday, June 13, 2008

Toys in Iraq

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.


Beth Mc said...

That was such a wonderful thing you did. Thank you for including me and my boys in this. It was so neat to see the toys being handed out, it made me cry. I can't wait for Ryan to wake up so I can show him this video and he can see the kids getting the toys and feel the joy of giving. You are such a great influence on our lives.

Sheryl said...

That was just awesome. How could anyone watch that and not be touched. What a wonderful, selfless idea you had. Thanks for including all of us in that, I am proud to be your friend and an American!

Paula said...

Oh that was so good!! All I can say is that I wish these were the images I would see when I turn on the news instead of all the negatvie and horrible things going on over there.

Good job :)

Heather said...

Robin read my blog post joking about bringing a lawsuit against McDonald's over the stress associated with Happy Meal toys. She sent me the link to this post. I know that I joke about Happy Meal toys, but what you did here is no joke! What a beautiful and thoughtful thing. I will start a collection in my small circle and do the same.

Anonymous said...


What a beautiful video, what an amazing post..what a wonderful idea! I'm proud to have been a past of it! I'm going to link to you :) I love it! Thank you for including us! We are proud to have been involved!

Michelle said...

That's beautiful! Even though we couldn't see any pictures that were specifically "our" donated toys, my girls understood it. They were excited that they gave presents to those children and asked me whether we would do it again. I sure hope so! Thanks you for including is in the toy drive and especially for posting the pictures.

Angie H. said...

I thought when I scrolled up that Katie and Jackson had gone to VBS and it was a video of them! Instead this great story. Plus I think it's great that you stayed in contact w/brother Jackson's classmates, what a great way to keep his memory and work alive, and for kids just like yours.


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