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A Helping Hand for the Holidays

by Tara Kuczykowski on December 21, 2012 · 5 comments


Our family has been through some tough times over the years. As a union pipefitter, my husband hasn't had a lot of job security, and we went through a span of several layoffs in a short period of time that really took a toll on our finances. But even when we struggled the most, our kids never went without. Though times we lean, we still managed to give them a modest Christmas, while sharing what we could with others.

Now that our financial situation is considerably brighter, it might be easy to forget those dark days, but it only takes a quick glance at recent headlines to see that there are so many others that are still struggling mightily. And though my own kids may not remember what it was like when we were struggling, I do want to instill a giving spirit in them.

So as we have in recent years, we headed to Walmart to pick up some toys to donate to those less fortunate. I gave each of my five kids a $20 budget and let them choose what they wanted to donate. Most of them chose to spend the entire amount on one really nice toy, but my 9-year-old decided to purchase two $10 toys so he could help out two children.

It was such a joy to see them all browsing the toy aisles, thoughtfully selecting which toy they wanted to give!

The nice thing about shopping for donations at Walmart is that they have bins at the front of the store specifically for this purpose, allowing you to do your purchasing and donating all in one trip.

Our local store's donation box is earmarked for the Helping Hand Toy Drive, sponsored by Walmart, The Columbus Dispatch, The Salvation Army, 92.3 WCOL, and WBNS-10-TV. I was overjoyed to see that the box was already overflowing with donations!

My kids carefully placed their donations in the box, along with the others. I'll admit I was a little worried that my younger children might be a little resistant to parting with the toys they selected, but even my 4-year-old cheerfully added the car hauler set he chose to the pile.

I noticed on The Salvation Army website that it looks like the boxes may have been removed from stores on the 14th, but if you'd still like to make a donation, you can make a monetary donation via Paypal on the Salvation Army website. If you're tight on funds this holiday season, you might consider volunteering instead!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own -- always have been, always will be.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Al December 22, 2012 at 4:37 am

Bravo to you and your family! What a great life lesson.

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2 julie December 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

I love to see a full donation box. Great tradition to have as a family.

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3 Sunny December 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Tara, I love that you let the kids pick out the toys. I never thought of that. I always just but myself and put the toys in the box. i am in Columbus also do you know when Walmart will be removing those boxes? I shop at the one in Lewis Center

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4 Tara Kuczykowski December 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I saw on the Salvation Army website that the campaign was through the 14th. I don't know if they've actually removed the boxes yet or not though. I'd probably give your store a quick call or check with the Salvation Army directly.

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