Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I played Santa today

BloggersGiveBack.comI felt very Santa-ish this morning as I lugged two bags and a box through the snow to help make a child's Christmas special (never mind the fact that yes, my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly with every step I take).

A few months ago, the folks from Learning Curve gave me a Caring Corners dollhouse to review, with a special condition: I'd get one dollhouse for my kids and I to try out and keep, but I'd also get a second one to give away to a needy child or charity. Part of the toy's charm is its effort to teach kids about sharing, caring, and good deeds, hence the charitable twist on a product review.

I started corresponding with the house manager of a shelter for abused women in a town near Mayberry. It's part of a nonprofit group that manages an array of domestic abuse programs benefiting women and children. The shelter has 44 beds (not counting cribs), and right now every one is full; a mother and child are sleeping in the shelter's library this week because it's the safest place for them to be.

Unfortunately, because it took a while to coordinate the drop-off (note to self: When someone is clearly a bad emailer, pick up the phone), I couldn't bring the kids with me. Still, just having the extra dollhouse in our house for all this time gave us plenty of opportunity to talk about why we had it and what we'd be doing with it.

The coordinator who received the dollhouse was just thrilled, and noted that a dollhouse is an especially useful and therapeutic toy for a child who's experienced abuse. It breaks my heart clean in two to think of a child spending Christmas in a shelter, but I hope this dollhouse helps one little girl dream of the safe, welcoming home she'll live in one day.


I also donated a few other reviewed products: the Positive Spin holiday books, and an I Can Do That! game (since that company had also offered two toys, one to review and one to donate). Thank you, Whitney, for coordinating these efforts. It's been a pleasure to participate.


Also at the Full Mommy, I 've reviewed theater productions that may be coming to your area soon. Check them out: Magic Tree House, the musical and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


And have a very merry Christmas, if you're celebrating. Our guests arrive today, so I'll be busy chopping vegetables and serving salads for the next few days. See you next week!


Mandy said...

I donate to an abused women's shelter in Vancouver: unused diapers, gently worn clothes (for adults, for babies), toys, etc. It makes me feel good to do it, but the fact that the place exists at all is heart-breaking.

mothergoosemouse said...

Between donating that dollhouse (and a bunch of other extras) and giving away that Wii/Wii Fit, I have had the best holiday season ever. It makes my year to be able to do things that mean so much to other people.

I know what Mandy means, but on the flip side, I'm so glad these places are there for the people who need them. Of course, god knows I wish no one HAD to need them.

RookieMom Whitney said...

Coordinating the Dollhouse program got me in the mood too and I did more little good deeds than ever before this holiday season. I also donated a Positive Spin book to our local library.

Yesterday, I took my 4 yo boy to the local fire station and told him we were "playing Santa", and we left a package of See's candy on their doorstep and drove away.

Becky said...

Happy and merry!

Karianna said...

What a wonderful fulfillment of a little girl's (or little boy's) dream. You've earned your egg nog (or Tom & Jerry,) Santa!

Karianna said...

You know what?

I think I'd better revise my comment to read "You've earned your ginger ale."

I've clearly been remiss at keeping up with The News and thus did not realize why your belly might jiggle.

But now I know.

And I apologize for trying to push you towards alcohol! ;-)

Heather said...

That's great that you were able to donate all those things.

Have a great Christmas!

Lady M said...

How lovely to be able to give those things where they will be so appreciated!

Have fun with the vegan menu!

SUEB0B said...

I am a sick, sick woman, because Mandy's comment "unused diapers" made me laugh and laugh. It just made my brain conjure the alternative.

Merry Christmas.

nonlineargirl said...

That is great. What a nice idea.

jodifur said...

As someone who works in family violence I have to tell you, what a lovely, wonderful thing you did.

Kate said...

You are the best. It's great that you do that. And too bad that there are places like that we all have to donate to.

Magpie said...

That's really sweet what you did.

I hope Christmas was swell - and that you have a wonderful 2009!

ewe are here said...

What a wonderful choice for the dollhouse!

You've a lovely heart.