We took our first batch of toys to the post office this afternoon. I was so excited to get those first toys off to their new friends. They were made with care, and happiness. We knew the names of the children who were getting them, and thanks to their parents, we knew a bit of their stories.
Their stories are all different, but in the end all the same. They just want to play. Giving everyone the chance to have a toy to play with this time of year is our goal.
As a parent of a child with special needs, I have spent many Christmas mornings playing with my son Max's toys for him. We would play, hoping to see him get some joy out of them, but mostly our efforts fell short.
Here's a little secret not all parents of children with special needs will let you in on, the holidays are hard. It's a yearly reminder of the dreams we once had for our children. In our dreams, we would take them to Santa, and listen in on the things they hoped to see under the tree on Christmas morning. Then, Christmas morning would start with them running to the tree, tearing into the gifts Santa left. Then the headache inducing, toy playing would begin. We would collapse, exhausted from the early wake-up call but content from the happiness on their faces.
There is still happiness on Christmas morning, it's just a different sort than what we dreamed of. They are slow moving mornings, maybe we don't change out of pajamas and start therapies right away, because it's a holiday. Maybe we throw a piece of pumpkin pie into their blended food, even though we know it's not on their very regulated diet. And maybe we can afford a special toy or piece of therapy equipment, because it's a special time.
And sometimes, we can't. Sometimes a special piece of equipment our child needs costs thousands of dollars. Sometimes their food and medicine costs just as much. And in between doctors appointments, and therapy visits we rack our brains on what we could possibly get as a gift for the holidays that would make them smile. Another drum? Another toy that lights up and makes music? Another stuffed animal for them to have in their already crowded beds?
That's where Santa's Little Hackers comes in. We can't take away the therapy and doctors appointments. We can't pay for your medical bills, or specialty foods. We can't take away the heartache of the dreams that were to be. But, we can offer a toy for children with significant disabilities. We can bring just a little bit of Christmas magic into the lives of our families, because we are one of those families. We get it. It's why we started Santa's Little Hackers.
We are not a mega non-profit, but we are doing really good things, and we're all so proud of what we're doing. We will gladly give up all our free moments in the weeks leading up to Christmas to make your holidays better. We will clutter our guest room with toys and dining room table with toy adapting materials, because we know the end results. Happy faces from our recipients, and happy hearts from the caregivers.
Thank you for coming along for the ride. It's really starting to pick up. We are going to make the holidays special for 500 families this year. We will get there, but we still need your help.
And if you are local, please come help us make these dreams happen on December 5th, by coming to the toy making workshoppe at Northglenn High School. It will be a day of hard work, but so rewarding!
President Santa's Little Hackers by MaxMods
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt