“Everyone deserves some joy”

February 1, 2021 - 12:00am -- Living City

“Everyone deserves some joy”
Anna, 9, and Emma, 7, from Houston join their mom to spread love during the pandemic

My mom asked me if I wanted to help her do a toy drive. I said, “Yes!” because I knew it was for a good cause. It was to help people who can’t afford buying Christmas presents for their children.

I think everybody deserves to have some joy, even if they’re going through hard times like now, during Covid. I know that lots of people are losing their jobs because of the pandemic in Port Houston. It’s a part of the city that has many immigrants from countries like Mexico and Honduras.

So first we asked the families what they wished for and we wrote them down. Then my sister Emma made a video clip telling people to join us in getting the toys. Because of that video, a lot of people brought us gifts. Some people sent us money, so my mom, sister and I went to buy the toys that we had on the list (even for babies, we asked their moms).

As we were choosing the toys, I was thinking of how happy the children were going to be when they open their presents. We ended up with two carts full of stuff, and people kept bringing us toys. We put them all on the couch and started to wrap each one. We labeled each gift so families would know which gift was for whom. In the end, we got 150 toys ready!

Then we gave the families different time shifts for when they could drive by and get the presents. When we gave them the gifts, they would really say, “Thank you” and have these big smiles!

We also gave out gift cards and pizza. On the first day, we shared 69 large pizzas, and on the second day, 45. That way everybody had a toy to enjoy and food to eat.

Emma and I also helped my mom with the Thanksgiving food drive-through. I remember that we went to a school to set it all up. There were so many people who were lining up! But then the people from the food bank came and everybody had enough to eat. 

When I was helping out, I was so happy to share that I felt like my heart was swelling. The best part about all of this is that when we love people, they love others, and then we get a whole chain of love going.

- Anna Kargbo