You’re 10 years old and Christmas is just a few weeks away. Can you feel the anticipation? Can you feel the excitement? Soon, there will be gifts under the tree and sweet treats to enjoy. There's nothing quite like Christmas morning as a young child.
For 10-year-old Lauren, her anticipation and excitement is not for opening her own presents on Christmas Day. She’s excited about the many children who will get to open Christmas presents that might not have been able to before. Because of a 10-year-old’s heart for others, Buckner children in West Dallas will experience anticipation and excitement for Christmas this year.
On Dec. 1, Lauren went to her parents with an idea. “I want to help kids in need, and I want them to have a nice Christmas,” she told her parents.
Lauren’s passion and motivation for starting her own toy drive didn’t just stop at the idea – she had thought through the whole process. She designed a flyer to pass out or post online, wanted to have a box at their driveway for collections and even thought of a way to bring some Christmas flair: offer the option to ring a bell for toys.
For Llechor, Lauren’s mom, she loved the idea but was concerned about time.
“It was already Dec. 1!” Llechor shared. “But Dre, Lauren’s dad, made the flyer and posted it Sunday. By Monday, he texted me at work and said we’d already received a large number of toys – even bikes! Then it just took off from there.”
As the toy drive took off, Lauren and her family worked together to put all the pieces together. From organizing the collections to managing the budget of donations, Lauren lead the charge.
“When monetary donations came in, we went right to the store and told Lauren the budget,” Llechor shared. “Every toy that came in, she was excited to add to the table.”
The Williams family is no stranger to service. They often serve at their church, organize other drives on their own and have served internationally too.
“When you think your kids aren’t paying attention, they are!” Llechor said.
While they jumped into collecting the toys so quickly, Lauren hadn’t officially decided where the donations would go. Llechor and Lauren thought of Buckner and connected with Keri Pettis, director of compliance and strategic initiatives for Buckner, who attends their church to see how they could work together.
The toys were distributed at the Christmas market at the Buckner Family Hope Center® at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Complex presented by Toyota in West Dallas. Parents and children had the opportunity to shop for toys, books and more – and Llechor, Lauren and Dre volunteered as a family to help see the toy drive all the way through.
The two dropped off the toys in preparation and showed up bright and early on Dec. 13 to help bring Lauren’s hope to fulfillment: to help other children have a beautiful Christmas. In just 12 days, Lauren was able to impact many children and families for the holidays.
This Christmas, we’re reminded that no matter how old you are: you have a gift and a passion that can impact others.
We're excited to share with you all the ways you can shine hope to vulnerable children and families around the world. We invite you to stay connected with us while also growing in your own faith.
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