Mister Bill, the owner of Outer Limits Preschool, so graciously gave us a classroom after school, so we could have the Christmas Party for the 21 Munchkins on December 22nd. :)
Miss Blanca helped me set up everything and we ended up lining the room with all the gift bags with the kids names being quite visible. Every time a child came in we sent them on a mission to find the bag or bags with their name on them. Oh how fun that was to watch and what joy it was to finally meet all the little Munchkins in person after all these months. :) Up to this point most kids were just names and ages to me. Oh my goodness were they ever so cute and the older ones were so grown-up already. The weekly backpacks are for children between the ages of 2 and 10 and we are very close to 1,900 meals plus as many snacks served already in only seven months. :)
Miss Blanca was so dear and provided trays of cookies, veggies and dip, and fresh fruit for everyone. She is always so thoughtful !! Thank you Blanca Dear !! :)
Miss Maggie volunteered to give each child a face painting, which was really cute also. Thank you for helping to make the party so special with your gift of art, Maggie !! :)
We decided that it would be too much if the Munchkins would open their presents right there and then, and that it would be very confusing with 21 kids and all those gifts. So instead I turned loose my camera and lots of precious pictures were taken. :) I can share those too, once my blog will allow it.
How can I ever reflect to you the gratitude the parents had during our little Christmas party for the backpack food every week and for helping to make Christmas special for their child(ren) ??!! I have learned that 40% to 60% of the children at the school live below the poverty level and that some of the parents had no idea how to make a Christmas for their Munchkins this year. Their gratitude was immense and at times it was hard to hold back tears. It was the first time that I met most of the parents too. :) I received many hugs that evening. :)
One of the parents, Maria, even came with a gift for me and letters their kids wrote. She works two jobs to support her kids and it really surprised me, it was so thoughtful of her !! :) Here is the letter from her 8 year old son: "Dear Karin, thank you for feeding us all year. Because you care we never go hungry and me and my sister love your pretty house. You were our guardian angel. Your friend Roman". His 10 year old sister wrote: "Dear Karin, thank you for giving us food. Especially the candy. We are very thankful! You are the nicest person we ever met. You are! Thank you for helping us when we really need food. May God bless you! Julissa".
Another mom, Mayra, made her own card with her own words for me and it was so precious too. :) Here is what she wrote: "Merry Christmas - Thank you so much for all you do for the kids at Outer Limits. Thank you for the time and effort in providing meals for us". And she had a sweet gift for me also. I wish I could bottle all this gratitude I received and send it to each one of you, my Elves, through the air waves !! :)
A lot of the kids were too small to understand who I was or what I had been doing for them, but after a little while and their parents explanations they warmed up to me and I got little cuddles while taking pictures together. :) Loved those lil' cuddles and hugs !! :)
This to me this is what Christmas is really all about. :) It is about helping each other, loving each other, sharing and caring for each other, and to make a difference in someones life. And a big part of it is for the Munchkins, and I am so grateful that you all helped me pull this off !! :) It was a lot of work, but my heart is full, knowing that we as a group spread a lot of love and light in these little children's and their parents lives this Christmas !! :)
Thank you each and everyone of you for having shared this experience with me in one way or another. :)
Hopefully we will continue together, as I always will need help with this and the backpacks !! :)
Sleep with the Angels !! :) And a great big THANK YOU ALL !! :)