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What do students in high poverty communities engage in during the school holiday break?

I woke up this morning and reflected on my blessings. I text a friend of mine and told her my #1 goal today was to check in to the nail salon and finish buying the fellas' stocking stuffers...which by the way is not easy. They're older now and so cute little Leggo characters, or castle pieces do not go well. I have to be creative so I will hit the gadget store at the mall. I forgot the name of it, but I'll find it. Then I thought about the kids that live in the poverty margin. When my boys were young, I would have a Christmas party for the neighborhood, we would bake cookies, decorated the second tree with all of their ornaments (a new one every year), and make our gingerbread house. I'd sit in the living room and read all of the Christmas stories. We would get popcorn and watch Charlie Brown's Christmas Special, The Christmas Story, Elf, and we would allow our free time take over. Just cuddled up under blankets and LOVE every single moment. So, what do our community members who don't have time off from work do with their kids while school is out? Where do they get their toys if money is already tight on a fixed income? Where do they get their roast or turkey or ham for their Christmas dinner?

Needless to say I'm glad we started a new tradition at my place of work by collecting toys for our community members who probably need that extra little help. Maybe next year we should focus on middle school aged students. That age bracket is most likely more challenging. We could do Game Stop gift cards, Journals and fancy pens, Chromebooks (they're only about $100), books and who knows what else. I wonder if churches have a survey they disseminate to those they serve and support.

So this holiday season, be THANKFUL and pray for those less fortunate. GIVE if you can by donating things but also time. A visit to an elderly neighbor or the retirement home would be perfect. Maybe dropping off a few Christmas cards to the prison for the inmates. Stay BLESSED!

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