Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Kids Feel Like Kings......

Today in Panamá is the Feast of Three Kings, a day to remember the three wise men that brought gifts for baby Jesus.  But instead of kings we gringos took over the roles of kings and handed out gifts to local handicapped children.

The Food Baskets are ready

Our Special "Elf"

Terry ready to give out more crowns

Louise and a special friend

Terry handing out a food basket

This annual event was organized by CASA (Coronado Area Social Association) as a way to give something back to the community.  Louise and her staff at CASA raised money though a spaghetti dinner, craft fair and Christmas party. A local branch of Mailboxes Etc. donated bags to hold the food items.  Other businesses and individuals joined forces to donate goods.  Together they filled 75 bags with well needed food items for families with handicapped children and adults.  Clyde and I along with a handful of other expats had the honor of handing out these bags to deserving families.

A local activist named Maribel hosted the event at her home.  She invited needy families and those with handicapped kids to join in the festivities.  With the help of a local church group, she provided lunch to the crowd along with ice cream. The children received donated candy and toys before presenting them with the food bags, fresh fruit and a wrapped gift.  Louise and a few of her crafty friends designed crowns out of construction paper, and adorned them glitter, stars, stickers, jewels, and gems.  The crowns made the kids feel like kings and queens while they lived a life of luxury for just a short time.

Some Very Special Kids!! 

Thank You to our special "Elf"

Louise took lots of photos at last years event and presented some of the kids with their own picture today.  What a joy to see their faces light up as they saw their own likeness in  the photo.  These kids are too poor to have Internet or cameras and probably don't get to see themselves in print too often.

We were rewarded with big smiles, hugs and many thank yous for the simple gifts we provided.  How delightful to be part of something so special and be able to give back just a little.  Perhaps this opened our eyes to the opportunities around us and the need for volunteers willing to get involved.

Those of us from North American are so fortunate to have been blessed with so much that surely we can spare just a little to help out those in need. And just maybe it will make Panamanians  think differently of us foreigners invading their country.  Regardless of color, race, or nationality we all come together in this melting pot called Panamá....along the gringo trail.

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