Alert — and caring — “06880” reader Pamela Long writes:
Maybe it’s the holidays. But I feel like I’ve had more and more conversations lately about raising generous, compassionate kids.
This is something I worry about in an affluent community with valet parking on Main Street, designer Christmas trees and shopping lists that include a trip to Tiffany are commonplace. Westport has tremendous charm. But it’s not how the rest of the world lives — though it’s likely the only world our children know.
I grew up in a very different place: a small town supported by a lumber mill. I made weekly trips to the secondhand grocery store to search through dented, unlabeled cans (Mom always found the peaches). We didn’t have much, but we always had enough to help a family (or 2 or 3) less fortunate than our.
“Adopting” families for the holidays became a tradition, one I looked forward to each year. As I raise my own daughter, it’s a tradition I’ve continued. It’s still my favorite part of the season.
So when I heard about a toy drive for the Cesar Batalla and Read Schools in Bridgeport, I quickly purchased more than I’m likely to admit to my husband. I assumed there would be an outpouring of support from many others.
Sadly, they’re falling very short on donations. The original goal was 1,000 toys for 1,000 kids. Now they just hope for 350.
These kids are in desperate situations — the highest poverty brackets, shelters, you name it. 100% of these children are fed breakfast and lunch at school. Their families have no money for basic necessities — let alone holiday gifts.
Westport: We can do better. Every child deserves the joy of opening a gift this season. We’ve got 4 more days to come together as a community and show our compassion, by helping those who do not have our good fortune. Open your hearts and your wallets — and get shopping!
All toys (unwrapped, for 4-9-year-olds) must be dropped off by December 18, so time is of the essence.
- Green Moon Art Studio: 170 Post Road West, Westport
- Kidville: 1572 Post Road East, Westport
- Vincent Palumbo Hair Salon: 616 Post Rd East, Westport
- Fairfield County Orthodontics: 1275 Post Road, Fairfield (located in Brick Walk)
- Hair Clinic Fairfield: 427 Stilton Road, Fairfield
You can use this as an opportunity to get your own kids involved. Have them help decide the gifts they want to give. They know best what kinds of toys will elicit squeals of joy. It’s a great way for them to practice kindness in a way that’s both meaningful and tangible.
You can’t take it with you, folks. Give generously this season. I guarantee you will be the one receiving the gift!