Upon getting ready to pack up and head back to America I realized just how much we had down here that we probably wouldn't or couldn't use once in America again. Even just that thought, the security I have in America that if I get there and decide I do need something I didn't bring back with me, I can just go buy it, is so humbling. Anyway, I talked with Tate, and we went through our stuff together to decide what we could give away. Tate was so sweet about agreeing to give away a good portion of her toys (keeping just her favorites), and most all her summer clothes. I told her how happy these kids will be to get some new toys and clothes and she said "okay, that's really happy". At first I wanted to hide her stuff that I was giving away, so that she wouldn't be too sad, but quickly realized what a missed opportunity that would be. She proved me wrong by happily agreeing to give away everything I had set aside, and help me pack it up.
I called my friends Taylor and Emily, who work with these children every single week, just out of the kindness of their hearts, to help me deliver the stuff. Every Friday they (along with many other girls) feed, teach a bible story lesson, play, and make a craft with these kids. I knew they would know which families and children were in the most need, and they happily agreed to take me around to drop my stuff off. We first stopped by this house, a family of a single mom with five kids. It was a nicer house than I expected seeing in this area, and then I saw the plaque on the outside saying it had been donated by Venezuela.
This little one took most of Tate's clothes & was grinning ear to ear as I handed her each piece:) Emily & Taylor told me later they have never seen her in clothes before.
Next we stopped by this one room house, where a mom and a lot of children live together. I looked inside and saw a single room, one bed, with a broken stove next to the bed. That's all.
When we saw the children I wasn't surprised to see every single one of them walking barefoot. This little guy was so giddy about getting Tate's pink keens. He couldn't stop smiling and it made me feel so happy. He thought those shoes were super cool, just like Tate did when she first got them. They were a tad small, but once he grows out of them his mom will just cut the toe off to make them sandals and extend the life.
Emily and Taylor with some of the kids they teach- they were SO happy to see them!
(I just love how proudly he is wearing those pink shoes- makes my heart happy)
My good friend Sarah also gave away a ton of her toys and these kids could not have loved it more. Even the older kids were wanting a ride on this. Things like this ride on toy, a play piano (which they were calling a guitar) are things they probably have never played with.
Sarah's "guitar" was a hit and the kids quickly whisked it off to play with it in the yard. Quite a different yard than what I'm used to sending Tate off into.
It was one of those experiences where you're so happy, but really sad too. You want to stay and give everything you have, but you also want to leave, and just cry, and not have to see where those kids are living and playing.
I'm glad I went though, and saw, and felt what I felt.