A few weeks ago I blogged about ways we can all give back with our cameras, whether you are a pro or just a Mom*tog. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure if I could make it happen. I’ve been blessed with amazing clients who have kept me so busy this year. Busier than I wanted to be, honestly. I have SO much to be thankful for. So, so, so much. And I wanted to do something for some people who might not have as much to be thankful for.
After my first two days of mini sessions booked out super fast I got a lot of requests for a third day. November was crazy. Crazier than crazy. And I knew if I did do a third day of minis I wanted to do something fun with that money. Something to give back. Julie (who did an amazing job styling the sessions) and I found a way to fit in one more day. The only day we could do would be the day before Thanksgiving. Which is just crazy. But, we made it happen.
Earlier this week we got to go spend that money. It was something I always wanted to do when I was a kid. Go to a toy store and buy whatever I wanted. A big shopping spree. I imagined running down the aisles with a cart and just piling toys into cart after cart. Except the toy store we went to didn’t have carts. Because it was important to me to be able to support a local toy store rather than going to a big chain store. Just another way to give back. I pass by The Enchanted Toy Store in Fullerton all the time, but had never gone in. I contacted the owner and he was kind enough to give us 15% off our purchases. To make our money go a little further. (If you live in North Orange County you must check out The Enchanted Toy Store. Really awesome, quality toys. You can tell Jeff, the owner, really puts a lot of thought into picking out the toys he carries in his shop).
It only took us maybe 20 minutes to get all the toys. Julie picked out the girl toys and Brayden I picked out the boy toys… and some girl toys because girl toys are “so colorful and pretty!”.
Brayden was excited to be one of Santa’s elves. He was SO good. Much better than I expected him to be. I thought he would cry and cry when he realized the toys weren’t for him. But, he got it. As much as a 3 year old can get it. All he wanted was a little stuffed mouse. Which I had to get him because he was so, so, so good. The only tears came from Kennedy who cried the entire time!
We piled the toys into the back of Julie’s mini van. So thankful for her mini van because they wouldn’t all fit in my car! (And, yes. Brayden doesn’t have any shoes on. Because I’m the awesome mom who forgot my kids shoes at home! It was that kind of a crazy morning).
And drove them straight over to a local fire department for Toys 4 Tots. The firemen were so nice and let B look in their fire trucks.
Thinking that there might be kids out there without Christmas presents makes my heart hurt. I can’t even imagine. Thanks to my amazing clients for helping to make this happen. Without your continued support, referrals, and business we couldn’t have done this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
ETA: I didn’t post this (or my 31 RAOK post) so people could say, “Yeah, Drew. You’re so awesome”. Because, trust me, I’m not that awesome and I’m not perfect. I posted it because I want to encourage others to do the same. Even if it’s something small it can all add up to something BIG!
Oprah (my personal hero) said that when she was a little girl her family didn’t have any money for Christmas presents. She was old enough to know Santa wasn’t real, but young enough to still hope that he was. On Christmas Eve nuns showed up at her door step with Christmas presents for her. She never forgot that small random act of kindess and that has inspired her love of giving. That was my inspiration for doing this. In hopes that maybe these presents can make Christmas magical for kids that don’t have a lot of happiness in their lives and maybe will instill a love of giving back to others that will last a lifetime.