About 10 years ago, my dad did something that would not shock anyone that knew him. My dad was the definition of “family man” and he loved nothing more than a happy child during the holidays. One particular Christmas, my dad was at Wal-Mart and saw Toys For Tots outside. He wanted to buy a toy and make a donation. While in the toy department, he overheard a little boy asking his parents for a bike and they said they could not get one that year. My dad, being the generous man that he was, did something wonderful. He offered to buy the bike for the parents to give to the little boy, and they accepted, very much overwhelmed by his generosity. If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. And, that is a glimpse into the person that my dad was.
Since my dad has passed almost two years ago, Christmas has not quite been the same. I have never known anyone who loved Christmas as much as him. He was the Clark Griswold of Christmas decorations and could never have too many ornaments or lights. He even made a few custom displays over the years. In my family, the Christmas decorations would come out on Thanksgiving and stay up until New Years Day. It was a big project, but he got so much pleasure out of the spirit of the season. In the two Christmas’ we’ve spent without him, we have tried to find that spirit that he so loved.
We have been thinking about his generosity a lot the past few months, and my husband and I have talked about how nice it would be to do something similar, in honor of my dad. My husband even wrote a blog post of his own a couple weeks ago about helping out, which you can read here. Since we do not have children, it would also be a nice feeling to help a child have a nice Christmas. After much conversation about it, we knew what we wanted to do.
Last weekend, on our anniversary, my husband and I went to Wal-Mart and put two children’s bikes (and helmets) on layaway. I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling that was. We weren’t sure yet where those bikes would go, but that was all a technicality. We knew that these would make a little boy and a little girl very happy.
This super cool red and black bike will make a young boy very happy!
This sweet bike will be perfect for a young girl!
Since then, we have decided on an organization to donate these bikes to, and we would love to have more than our two bikes to donate. Do you remember that feeling when you were little of getting a brand new bike? We cannot wait to give that happiness to a little boy and a little girl, all in honor of my dad.
The organization we have chosen is:
I have been in touch with the local Toys For Tots campaign office and I am so excited about this. The coordinator has been VERY helpful. After looking over their website, one sentence jumped out at me, and when I read it I knew this was the organization for our bikes to go to.
“Our goal is to never allow a child to wake up Christmas morning without a toy.”
This is something my dad would feel very strongly about. And that makes this all the more important to us. With that said, my husband and I would like to reach out to our family, friends, and more and see if we can turn this into something bigger. We would love to create a yearly campaign of our own and collect bikes to donate to Toys For Tots. And while Toys For Tots accept toys as well, in the spirit of my dad and his generosity for that little boy and his family at Wal-Mart, our focus is on bikes.
We are still working out all the details for our own little campaign, and we are setting up a Facebook page for it. As soon as we have all the remaining details ironed out, we’ll let everyone know so we can get the word out.
At any time, you can visit the Toys For Tots website HERE for more information on their organization. If you are interested in donating a bike, please let us know. We would love nothing more than to turn our 2 bikes into 5 or 6 bikes and make even more children happy.
**Please note that Toys For Tots will only accept NEW items.
My husband and I both know that my dad would be so proud of us. Knowing that we are helping to make a few children happy for Christmas will make for a very special Christmas for my husband and I.