Wrapping things up...

posted on: 10.25.2010

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.


  1. If for nothing else Chelsea, you were meant to go there for what you did this day alone!! What a great thing you and Tate did... here's a pat on the back to both of you! I am sitting her crying thinking about what others have to go through who basically have nothing, don't really have any other options, but yet continuing smiling. It sure puts life in perspective!! I love that momma who is just going to make those keens into sandals... what a smart cookie. Well bless you for blessing those sweet children!! Love ya and can't wait to hang!! Safe travels.

  2. What a beautiful person you are. I love you. I'm also sitting here crying - so touched by your thoughtfulness, generosity and teaching moment (not to mention those sweet, humble, happy people!). Tate is in great hands and will grow up to be a kind and compassionate person because of you. I'm so touched. What a great way to end my Sunday. Love. You. xoxo

  3. what a great story to start my day. it really puts things in prospective!!!

  4. this post makes my heart happy.

  5. What a cool way to go out! Leaving a piece of yourself on that rock:) What joy in those children's faces.

    I've got a package here with your name on it, but I can't find your parent's address in all my files! Email it on over, and I'll get Olivia in the mail today.

    xo Mir

  6. You are a good woman. Tate will remember that day.

  7. You are so inspiring! It is so easy to take our life for granted, and always want the latest and greatest. If you ever do anything like this again, I would LOVE to donate. My little girl has more toys, and clothes than she will ever need. Tate is going to grow up and be a BEAUTIFUL person inside and out with a mommy like you.

  8. This is so good, you are so good.

  9. oh I love this post, what a great experience to have right before you leave! I am sure they loved all those things, and cute tate for being so willing to give her things! can't wait to see you guys on wednesday!

  10. What a beautiful experience for both you and Tate! You have a wonderful heart Chelsea. I love seeing that huge smile on the boy's face with the pink keens. In many ways I wish my life were as simple as theirs. They know that happiness isn't tied up in what they have or do not have. They're just grateful for the simple things in life. There is a lot to be learned from people like that. Thanks for the inspiring story!

  11. Fantastic! That's what it's all about. What wonderful love and service you gave and shared with Tate!


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