I am loving the positive feedback about this series! I am so grateful my experiences with making holiday giving simple and easy is inspiring others to do the same. My kids have honestly enjoyed helping in these projects. I hope yours will too!
Today I am sharing how I started my own small charity. I don’t have a board and I don’t have an operating budget, but that is the beauty of using social media to ask for help. Four years ago, I started a small card writing charity called Operation Christmas Cheer. It began when my friend Gloria asked me to send just one Christmas card to two kids in our town who were battling cancer. I sent my two cards, but it just didn’t feel like enough.
I’ve shared before that my niece Ashley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when she was just 3-years old. Watching what she and my family endured month after month of chemotherapy, surgeries and hospital stays had a significant impact on me. Having been in the hospital room with other cancer kids (including tiny babies) I know firsthand the grief and anxiety families feel. What these kids really need is a cure. I don’t know how to make that happen, but I do know how to make a kid smile.
I made an event page on Facebook and asked my friends and family to make a card to send to each child. Then I found a few more kids who could use some cheer too. I had a total of ten kids on my list and over 65 volunteers, several class rooms and scout troops mailing cards to the kids on my list. I thought that would be the end of it. But, everyone started asking the following Christmas if I was going to do it again. My kids and I have continued this tradition every year since. Now I have several hundred volunteers sending cards.
How can you get involved? This operation is found solely on Facebook. You can like the page and get names of the children who need your cheer. Or, if you know of any children in your own home town that needs love and cheer this Christmas, start your own group on Facebook. Send an invite to all your friends and family to ask them to send out cards. Keep them updated with posts and photos of your kids making cards and encourage them to do the same. You can also contact a local children’s hospital and ask if you can deliver cards to kids staying in the hospital at Christmas.
This has been a great way to get my little kids involved with giving back. It isn’t expensive and I don’t have to leave the house (except once to gather stamps and cards). You can send store bought cards, or make them. No matter which kind of card you choose to send you will help bring some cheer to a family in need!
One The First Day of Service Host a Food Drive
On The Second Day of Service Host a Coat Drive
On The Third Day of Servic Make a Special Delivery
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.
Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy
I love this! I usually buy a box of cards each year and have my children write in them and we send them to our local children’s hospital. I am checking out your FB page now so I can also participate!
What a kind and wonderful thing to do. I’m sure it uplifts these children, who are no doubt feeling down about what they’re going through!
My friend Tabitha sends Luvmail to children throughout the year, and your mission makes me think of her – you guys should connect 🙂 I’m happy to do an intro, but you can find her at Random Acts of Luvmail on Facebook 🙂
I saw your post about her on your blog! I left a comment there. Would love to be introduced!! 🙂 She seems like a really amazing person!
What a great way to spread cheers during the holidays. I am sure you are making a lot of children happy.
This is wonderful. I would love to do something like this and get my kiddos involved too, I bet they’d love doing it too.
Such a wonderful idea. I don’t think you have to start large with charitable work. Sometimes the little things can bring a smile to an ill child.
This is beautiful! I’m going to check out the names on your list and add them to my Christmas card list for this week!
Thank you for taking the time to send some cards! 🙂
You obviously have a kind heart and a creative mind and you’ve found such a great way to utilize them! Congratulations on your organizations growth and keep up the excellent work!
Thank you so much!
It’s great that you are putting time and effort in spreading the Christmas cheer. We spent the last few days making home-made cards for senior citizens in our neighborhood and today we started delivering them personally with a piece of fruit as a gift. My kids thought it was a great way to spend Saturday!
Definitely sounds like a great Sunday!
What a great way to spread the holiday cheer! I love how a simple act of kindness has grown over the years and touched so many lives. Your series is so inspirational, I love everything you do to help others and set an example for giving back.
What an amazing way to teach compassion to little ones. I’m so sorry your niece and your family had to go through that!
This is an amazing idea! I am sure that it makes such a difference for those kids and their families. I have been trying to think of something that my very young children can start doing as service to our community, and something like this would be very very good! I may try to start something like this in my own community, thank you for the wonderful idea!
This is such a good cause, and I would like to participate. I checked out the Facebook page to get a sense of what this was all about. I plan on making a few cards and sending them out.
What a wonderful cause!! Thank you so much for giving all of us the opportunity to help out!!! <3
This is a great idea. Well done for setting up something to bring joy to others lives. Thanks for linking to #daysoutwithatoddler. Would you mind adding the badge please?
I will email you!