JiaXin is a generous warm-hearted little girl who was adopted from Taiwan and is now living in Canada. By a “chance” email back in November JiaXin’s father contacted me and asked me to fulfill a wish for his little girl. Believing she never celebrated Christmas when she was in Taiwan, she wanted to be able to provide gifts to those who would benefit the most from a little warmth during the festive season.
After asking around for several weeks and finding most places were already stuffed with gifts by corporate sponsors, I finally found the right people(s) to whom and how these items would make a difference not just for the holidays but all year round. To impact the child and benefit them you also want to provide warmth to the household. So I purchased some small individual gifts for the child (sprinkled with candy canes) and included on that list items their household stated they needed.
Additionally, I felt that perhaps what JiaXin missed during Taiwan was not the gifts from Christmas but the holiday spirit. Maybe obtaining gifts without any flair or explanation failed to set apart this day so I was also determined to host a workshop and spend time with the children. We would also make a Thank you card to send back to JiaXin.
Gift delivery was set for December 23rd and a general Christmas Cheer baking vegan cupcakes for all interested on the 30th. None of this could have been possible generous donations. Even to this day, now I have kids coming up to me saying I visited them for Christmas and they have begun participating in our workshops.
Below reads a rough day-by-day “Christmas Cheer” diary from December 19th-23rd 2013.
With the sponsorship, I purchased staple household food items requested and also continued to procure jackets and small gifts for each child. Five families and 14 children were part of this project. From obtaining the wishlist to purchasing, obtaining a few more donations of stocking stuffers from Annie’s English School, packaging and wrapping all the items (I got a bit specific about not repeating same wrapping paper in each household and no repeat stockings in same household).
Day One: Purchasing wishlist items from households – staple food goods, condiments and enhancers, warm thick jackets for their children. Unfortunately, this ripped through half of the budget and I could not fulfill all the needs of the kids yet. I will come up with a list later on post-Christmas on shoes and other warm clothing needs. I walked around to see the packaging ideas for the gifts as cardboard box is not that intriguing; considered within the budget to buy Christmas stockings for all the kids and stuff it with small item which I would need to also figure out.
Day Two: Obtaining wrapping and packaging, the Christmas stockings, and some other items. Sorted out items first by household and then by the children (matching up jackets to kids), split the stockings accordingly, stocking stuffers. Just in piles as I have a wrap/ribbon donation coming in tomorrow and picking up more stocking stuffers! Decided will return a few of the staple goods (yummy) to budget more for other items.
Day Three: Grabbed some stocking stuffer/gifts from Sean! Thanks Annie’s English School! Also started to split things into piles that made sense so when wrapping gifts won’t get confused. Personalized.
Day Four: WRAPPING, picking up the Santa outfit, hauling everything into the car. Send Jon the pdf of Jia-Xin’s Christmas card and print it out for delivery.
Day Five: Really finished wrapping this morning, picked up volunteers and stuffed gifts and people into car. DELIVERY! 4 adults, 2 kids, 6 bags of heavy groceries, 10 bags of gifts. The delivery to all five households was a success. The TaoShan Elementary School Principal also came out with us to deliver the gifts one by one!
For confidentiality purposes, none of the images below depict clear shots of the recipient’s faces. Budget was allocated to print out large 8×12 photos of the children taken by Jon Burke 白炯涵 to each of the families after delivery.
More images on Flickr and continue to read about the Christmas Cheer Cupcake Workshop here!
Jia Xin Rosenberg, Sarah McDonald, Lance Couture, Sumo Kindersley, Miles Bissky, Mike Sollanych, Eryn Holbrook, Mike Stanger, Stephanie Chu, Paul Ducky Tenk, Megan and Scott MacDonald, Tim Tam and Karen Truong, Anna Gladue, Laura McAuley, Jon Green, John Yang, Rachel Dawson, Andrew Dawson, Julie Dawson, Summer Dawson, Marla Rosenberg, Wendy Bissky, Oskar Pienkos, Guylaine Furness, Ron Santos, Svetlana Avramova, Corey Stratton, Terry Ronald Furness, Anna’s Incense
Funds were roughly split into four major segments ; approximately a quarter on staple foods, warm clothes (jackets), and small gifts (Christmas stockings, stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, cards inclusive). The remainder was utilized to implement the 2.5 hour each way delivery and Christmas Cheer Cupcake workshop – because the holidays are about spending time together.
Volunteers: Joey Liu, Chieni McCullough, Gabe Webster, Reiya Webster, Anya Webster, Jon Burke
Purpose: To provide Christmas spirit and generosity to those who would most benefit from it.
Location: The world
Event Callout: https://www.facebook.com/events/184607765011618/?fref=ts
More Details: https://www.facebook.com/toysfortaiwan