This week, I had the privilege of working the front counter at the Santa Claus shop in Denver. This non-profit organization has been providing toys for kids since 1931. Each parent is given a certificate worth 100 points for each child. The parents can “buy” new toys for their kids, where each toy is given a point value from 5 -100. I was working at the love counter, where gently used toys are purchased with remaining points, and often given away because that is what the Santa Claus Shop does- spreads love so each child can have a gift from Santa.
My tears started within minutes of my shift, when a mom who had stood in line outside in the cold since 5 am was able to get her child the brand new Hungry Hippo board game they wanted. She started crying with relief at being able to provide an asked for gift, and I cried tears of joy with her. Joy comes in such small ways, but can make a big difference at how we look at our life.
The joy continued as I worked at the love counter, sharing gently used toys with parents and children, often handing over a gift without the points necessary, just to see the joy on the faces around me. Gratitude was in the air, and I am happy I got to experience the joy of giving, volunteering, and sharing in another person’s happiness.