After days of packing and preparations, when the Food For Life Vrindavan team set out for the New Year gift distribution 2012 and entered the villages, thousands of cute little faces lit up seeing their gifts arrive. While some waited in anticipation to receive their gifts, many started chasing the vehicle that carried the gifts to be the first one in the row. Food for Life Vrindavan successfully carried out their 16th year of Gift Distribution, this time distributing a total of 5,000 gift packs! It is hard to put to words how we felt to see little twinkling faces burrowed deep into their gift bags, counting their precious possessions, but some of our volunteers who participated in the distribution shared their experiences.
Here is what they had to say:
Julie Hawke: “I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to experience Food for Life extend their hand in community development giving New Years packages to surrounding villages. I am continually impressed by the reach of their influence. The look on the faces of the kids as they pulled out their toothbrushes, beanies, and especially chocolate treats was priceless. My favorite part was watching the girls receive their gift covering their mouth with their hand to conceal the smile, but after walking past the adults, breaking into a run smiling from ear to ear to join their friends. Because these packages were only given to school children, I saw the longing for the other village kids and their parents to receive the same—the gift, but more importantly, an education. Touring the schools had already left me awe inspired at the number of children they can take care of, but the villages left me equally aware of how many more are in need and what I myself can do to help.”
Monique Mullenaux: “To see the most pure joy on children’s faces as they receive gifts that would not typically be expected or even hoped for, has been an unforgettable experience. In preparation to coming to this school for a short stay, a friend of mine had donated substantially to this New Years packages project. As I was able to hand out these gifts to the children, it was a rare opportunity to experience the connection between donating from home all the way to giving the kids these bags. It made me realize that ever little bit helps. As is often said, we cannot make a difference to everyone but we can make a difference to someone. Looking into the big brown eyes and huge smiles of these children, I was struck by their individuality and realized how true this is. I would repeat this experience a million times over and wish everyone could have lived this experience.”
Ciera Sypherd: “First day here in India and I am in love. These kids have so little and to see the pure joy and love in their eyes as they received these simple gifts was heart warming. I had no idea what the children were saying but they continued to try to tell me things, with wide eyes and ear to ear grins! It was so cute! But even with the language barrier I knew they were expressing their gratitude and excitement from the New Year’s gifts.”
Morgan Shaver: “Delivering the New Year’s gifts to local schools was a blessing in more ways than one. Of course, the most warming blessing of the experience was the priceless and numerous amounts of smiles that the children wore proudly. Another blessing of this experience was being able to be apart of the vast amount of giving that Food for Life does constantly. The final blessing that I observed during this experience was seeing how much one organization can do. Food for Life not only has built and maintained a fantastic program but selflessly gives to other schools that aren’t as fortunate as themselves.”