Holiday clothing project – helping kids in need

I usually coordinate a Holiday giving project for our office of about 65 people. In the last 10 years we have given generously to many area agencies to help the homeless, abused women and their children and kids in need.

I sent an email to all of the local employees in my department on November 19th asking for suggestions for a holiday project. Coincidentally less than a week later I received an email from one of the local Telephone Pioneer’s project coordinators regarding the holiday project they were sponsoring this year.

Subject: CHILDREN IN NEED CHRISTMAS PROJECT. “Pacific View Pioneers has decided not to adopt a family this year, but instead help approximately 54 children in the Gresham-Barlowe School District, who are in desperate need of clothing. Grade levels are from 1st grade up to senior in high school”

I forwarded this email on to all my co-workers suggesting we take part in this project rather than doing our own this year. The need had already been identified, someone else was coordinating and all we have to do is pick a gift tag off the Giving Tree set up in our building’s lobby. Easy as can be!

I picked a 6th grade girl who needs a sweater. I went to Fred Meyer yesterday to buy a sweater and ended up buying three sweaters and a fleece sweatshirt. They were all on sale for 30% off. I decided to go down to the office this morning and pick a few more kids tags off the tree. I went back to Freddy’s and bought 2nd & 6th grade girls coats and gloves and a 7th grade girl shoes, socks and slippers. The girl’s coats were on sale for 50% off, gloves 40% off, shoes and socks on sale too.

Tomorrow I will deliver the purchases to the Pioneer’s store in my office building. I am hoping that many others have selected kids and made purchases to help. It makes me feel good to help others. I am glad to be in a position financially that I can help make a difference for some kids in need. Plus it was fun shopping for kids.

The Pioneer’s Giving Tree

A very special boy!

My daughter’s BF Cindy has a son named Marshall. Marshall was born quite prematurely. When I first saw him when he came home from the hospital at about 5 weeks old his little head fit in the palm of my hand like a baseball. He was tiny. As an infant and through his toddler years Marshall had difficulty eating. Everything that did go in his mouth was pretty much spit back up. Marshall spent a lot of time in speech therapy which was not so much to help him speak but to get his little throat to work to swallow food. At about age three or so Marshall was diagnosed as autistic. When Marshall started school he was assigned a personal aid which to this day he still has. Marshall has many of the classic traits of a person with autism. He only eats certain foods regardless of the meal. I have had several Thanksgiving dinners at Cindy’s house and sat next to Marshall who would only eat a toaster waffle or maybe a roll. He will eat french fries and just a few other foods. Marshall has social interaction issues and if you didn’t know that he was autistic you would think he was a rude child who may have ADD.

But all of this is not what makes Marshall “special“. What makes Marshall special is the absolutely unselfish, caring, loving thing he decided to do to help another kid. Over a year ago Marshall somehow heard about Locks of Love and decided to grow his hair so he could donate it to make wigs for kids. Not something your average nine or ten year old boy would think about doing. Right?

I saw Cindy’s comment on Facebook yesterday and it made me think of what a brave thing this was for Marshall to do.  Brave I say because I am sure more than once some bully made a crack about Marshall looking like a girl. Kids can be so cruel.

Cindy said “My beautiful boy grew his hair out for Locks of Love and finally had enough. It all came off yesterday!”

In a response to a comment about the photos on FB Cindy wrote He has a few sensory issues, so for him to even grow his hair that long is HUGE.”


Put the hair in a ponytail and whack it off.


Buzz the rest of the hair off. Then the next step is to mail the ponytail to Locks of Love so that a financially disadvantage kid can get a wig.