I have always lived a very simplistic lifestyle. I don't buy a lot of stuff and I don't own a lot of stuff. The reason is two-fold: I don't want to have to deal with it later (whether it be dusting, cleaning. or donating it when I don't like it anymore.); and more importantly, I am truly grateful for all the things I do have.
After Grace was born, my house started to quickly fill up with stuff. I had no idea a small person had SO MUCH STUFF. I admit part of it was my doing. If she had more sleepers, the less often I had to do laundry. Makes sense until I have to fold the laundry. The other part was all the gifts she got on special occasions and throughout the year. (Her grandpa comes over every week at least once and most of the time, he has something for her. He has been strongly encouraged to stop. I didn't want her to associate him with getting gifts.)
Staring at all her stuff stressed me out. Not only was there a lot of visual clutter but it saddened me to know not every child has all the stuff they need to excel or even just to get by. I have always donated throughout the year but this year, I gravitated towards children related organizations. I can't say that I support one organization over another. I just want to help any child in need.
In 2016, I helped in the following ways:
I helped make over 1000 lunches for children in need at Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids.
Donated Grace's gently used toys to Children's Cottage Society.
Donated Grace's car seat to Neighbor Link.
Put together school bags for the Backpack for Kids Program with the Calgary Board of Education.
Put together Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with the Samaritan's Purse
Donated Grace's gently used clothes to the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
Donated baby formula to the Inn from the Cold
If you are in the position to donate or help out, I encourage you to do so. Any donation or effort, great or small, goes a long way.