Saturday, November 22, 2008

McJoyful Christmas -- Can YOU Help?

I have, on average 250 hits a day to this site -- approximately 1500 hits per week, probably not 1500 unique hits, but nonetheless a significant enough number that I think that my wonderful blog readers might be willing to help a great cause -- to change lives.

Last year, while we were contemplating adopting from Kyrgyzstan and while I was researching, I came across a story about an organization that provides a trip to McDonald's at Christmas for children. I remember being SO MOVED by this story because it was the only time these children had EVER been to McDonald's -- a trip we make all too frequently. These children were so excited about this trip, they took home the Happy Meal boxes, wrappers and all. Stop for a minute and imagine that kind of excitement and happiness. When was the last time you felt that kind of appreciation for something?

There is no McDonald's in Kyrgyzstan. However, apparently there is a place that is very similar that John Wright knows of and is trying to make a "Simple Dream" come true for 65 kids in Kyrgyzstan. $1000 would provide transportation, a meal and a small gift for these children for Christmas. I read on Cindy LaJoy's blog, that her son Kenny asked why Santa doesn't come to Kyrgyzstan? Why not indeed? Stop again for a minute and think about how we take for granted that on Christmas Day we will have a gift of some kind. Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday and Kyrgyzstan is typically not a Christian country, but does that mean we should not show them the love of Christ by giving? I don't think so. Cindy has issued a challenge to her blog readers to give enough for this dream and her sons will give her a pie in the face. How fun!!

At our house this year, there will not be a lot of gift giving to others -- simply because we have just returned home with our most special gift and the financial aspects surrounding the adoption this year have been large. We knew that, and we are ok with it. However, we are going to help make this dream happen. Do you think that your small $5 or $10 won't help? Definitely not true.

If I may be presumptuous and say: if you have plans for a gift for The Lathams this year, please consider making a donation to this project instead. There is a link to the upper right saying, "Donate Now". Click that link and you will be taken to a site for Canada Helps. Under "fund designation", choose "The Wright Stuff" and you can write in "McJoyful Christmas". We are blessed beyond any gift -- we have our daughter home, thanks to the help of so many others. We'd like to "pay it forward" and help children who are still there who don't know that Jesus exists. I've provided links throughout this post to direct you to the place where you can give online. If you don't feel comfortable giving online and still want to support this cause, email me at and we'll figure a way to make it work.

While I was writing this, I went over to the Simple Dreams website that John has set up to allow folks to give to specific projects. I should not have done this while I should be sleeping (it's 3 a.m. -- just after a feeding) because I may not be able to sleep now. So many of the "dreams" he has listed for sponsorship have broken my heart: a birthday party for children who have NEVER had one $25; a trip to the dentist, $20; handmade blankets for the winter, $18.75; a "Dump Run" (taking soup and bread to those rummaging through the dump for food), $25; socks, underwear and toothbrush for the elderly living in what constitutes a nursing home, $9.75; photo albums for children to have pictures of themselves, $7.35 per album and $75 for a batch of photos to be processed -- how many photos do you take a day or week or month? Can you imagine having NONE of yourself? These are SIMPLE ways to change a life. These are INEXPENSIVE ways to change a life. Shouldn't Christmas be about MORE than just getting more "stuff" that will end up in the trash?

Visit the site, read the stories, see the photos -- let your heart speak to you. You can donate directly from this site and a tax deductible receipt can be provided. I hope I can sleep ... I suspect I won't be able to, because I have been there; I have seen these images first hand; I know the need. I know money is tight all around. I stop to think what I can sacrifice -- and how small it would be and probably never missed (a few sodas, eating out once, a magazine or two, generic instead of name brand, skipping ONE movie) -- to help make a change that will be HUGE in the lives of children and elderly. We are helping -- will you help too?


Carol M said...

Maria, Just a note to let you know I made a donation for a McJoyful Christmas for the orphans in Kyrgyzstan after reading your post. Ellie is adorable as is my precious grandson who is also from Kyrgyzstan! I hope enough donations come in to make this dream possible...maybe other grandparents will join in and help!

Julie W said...

I think this is a great idea. I passed your blog on to a few other blogs who have high readerships. Hope it helps. I am going to have my 9 year old take a look and help decide what kind of donation he would like to do. He loves to help people...