A Kids Rule! Teenager shares her Toy Drive experience

In life, some people say “Just go with it” and “Remember the moments.” I have followed that advice most of my life not really seeing what they meant until December 14, 2011. On that day, I began to live those sayings that I tried to decode all the previous years. I was surrounded by the laughter of heaven’s smallest angels and by the gathering of unknown faces. Soon those faces became a part of me.

I went to help out with the children at City Place and nothing had brought me more utter joy. The

National Arts Institute “Kids Rule!” sponsored this wonderful event where children had come to give out pizza and the older children played with the younger ones. Most of the kids from my school, G-Star School of the Arts, had been there and, with their help, a lot of kids received gifts and had all the fun that they wanted. First, we watched them perform a few Christmas songs. How adorable they were! Then, they all gathered for pizza and ice cream. The kids wanted more and more they got! The school kids, being the elves, had gladly given it to them.

I mainly enjoyed the conversations with the children. They said that they were having a great time and the shine on their little faces showed it. One little boy kept introducing me to his best friend and saying that he loved his friend a lot and they both were enjoying the pizza and music. Another girl told me of her mother’s travels in New York and then told me all about her cousin who sat right across from her.

The main event however, came when the snow had fallen. What I saw that day beats any gift I have ever received. Everything became still and the air was quiet and warm. My eyes traveled upwards.

Snow from the stage had fallen down to everyone where all the kids’ arms bundled together as snowflake by snowflake floated down to them. They all danced in circles as if their biggest dreams had come true. Even though we may never know what those dreams were, their eyes shining up to the periwinkle blue sky said it all. As the snow fell unto them, I saw these tiny ice crystals reach their hands and then dissolve into what hopes and dreams they had in them.

My heart wanted to leap for heaven’s highest joy. I had never seen something more loving or more precious that what this event did for these kids. This event had given them a day in time when nothing but the fun and the unexpected mattered. The unexpected matters so much because, for a long time, I forgot that no one can predict anything. Those kids gave their best belief in the unexpected that day. Dancing with them and watching them open the gifts made me see the best things come unseen or unheard. Not until that perfect moment, when the snow fell on the children, I saw that life’s greatest moments are the merriest of all. For every drop of snow that had fallen, it brought happiness. I saw a dozen more tears of joy from many other adults. This moment in their lives, as well as ours, started off Christmas with a smile, a laugh, and a lot of hope. I hope anybody who reads this understands this day was more than a memory; it was the missing link that keeps us all together…hope.

I have many things to be thankful for this holiday season, but especially to the National Art Institute “Kids Rule!” Program for the joys they created that day and for allowing me be a part of it and share the happiness and hope with others.

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