Guest article: The spirit of giving

Guest article: The spirit of giving

By Ananya Modak

“My heart told me to help these kids,” said Dora Wathen, a co-founder of a local program to send toys and clothes to children in need. “I didn’t have a lot growing up and I remember waiting for the big truck coming from the U.S. and how excited we all were to get one present that year.”

This local program started in 2014 as a way to both reuse old toys and bring joy to children. Every year, a little before the holiday season, Susy Cross, a Scripps Ranch resident and Mrs. Wathen’s daughter, sends out a message via the Facebook group Buy Nothing asking for donations of old toys and clothes. Of course, our warm-hearted community responds whole-heartedly, and as soon as they gather enough toys and clothing, Mrs. Wathen travels from El Centro to pick them up. After that, it’s only a matter of time before they’re brought to a town in Mexico and distributed through a local church to the kids in need.

“I love seeing their faces,” said Mrs. Wathen. “It’s like they can’t believe this gift is just for them.”

As we exit the season of giving, stories like these remind us that it’s important not to exit the spirit of giving. Even though there may not be as many fund raisers or charities in the spring, there are always people who are in need of a little joy.

Maybe you can start volunteering at these programs once or twice a month, or donate old stuff that you don’t need or want, but that could mean the world to someone else. If you can’t do either, that’s okay. Instead, take time to talk to someone special to you and remind them how much they mean to you. Give them a smile and some of your time – the best gift of all. After all, stories like these show us that whether it’s a truckload of toys or a simple sentence, there is always a way to bring joy to someone’s heart.  

The author suggests volunteering for Feeding San Diego:

Ananya Modak is an 11-year old Scripps Ranch resident.