Spotlight: Victoria Fleming, Boston

This guest post was written by Victoria Fleming’s mom.

The idea came up while discussing the details of Victoria’s birthday party. On a day when many children are lucky enough to be surrounded by family, friends and gifts, we couldn’t help but think about the children in our own community who aren’t so fortunate. So maybe we could do something special this year, by receiving donations instead of presents, and hopefully other families would like the idea too. Victoria was immediately on-board and soon enough, the impact of her good deed would set in.

On the day of her party, we put out a big empty box with a sign, and had Victoria set the process in motion by donating a toy from our family (see photo attached). Her friends came with unwrapped gifts and filled the box. Parents expressed that it opened up some really good dialogue with the children who asked, “Why doesn’t Victoria want presents?” or “Why would Victoria give her presents away?” Not only did she receive more donations than expected, but also she had a full heart of pride and joy from helping others.

Something interesting happened the next day. We went to Target and her grandma let her pick out her own gift, a big toy camper. At the check out counter, the cashier remarked on what a lucky girl she is. Victoria told him that she had a toy drive at her birthday party the day before and would be donating all the gifts. The man stopped what he was doing and told her it was the kindest thing he had ever heard. He handed her a $5.00 gift card and said it was from him to her for doing such a good deed.

On the way out, Victoria stopped me and said, “Mommy, I get it now. If I give, others will give.” I said, “that’s right!” and we high-fived. Her sister turned to us and said she wanted to do a toy drive for her birthday party too. That was a proud parenting moment for Mom and Dad and an amazing experience for all. You can see by the smile on her face that she didn’t miss out on anything.

Thank you Project Giving Kids for the vehicle to donate and opportunity to share.

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