11/10/2011

Give to Lift to Project Angel Wings


When my children were little, we started a trend right after the holidays. After seeing the surplus of toys stashed in the bedrooms with literally no place to put them, it seemed like the perfect time to reflect on what the season was all about, the gift of giving.

The time I am referring to was when my children were 5 and . I had been recently divorced. We had plenty of love in the house and enough money to pay the bills but we were short on money for about everything else. However, when the holidays rolled in, the kids capitalized on gifts from two different sides of the family. It was as if everyone on both sides, their father and mine, wanted to compensate for the lack of my kids not having two parents at home anymore thus, overspent on the Christmas gifts. Even the kids commented on the abundance of toys. That is when you know it was excessive!

Well, I knew for years there was an orphanage not far from where we lived. I called them up, on a whim and asked them if they took any donations of toys. I learned they took donations of any kind and that they had elementary aged children in the home. Then and there, we began a tradition. My kids, every year, would go through their toys, after the holiday season and pick out the old toys they no longer played with and pack them up nicely in a box. They knew those toys were going to children they had no parents to spend the holidays with. Quite often they both put in toys that I knew they still really liked but they felt that pull to give to the less fortunate and I felt that surge of pride. There were even times when they gave away new toys, as they understand Christmas is about giving.

One year, my daughter and I were dropping off a load of girls clothes after she had hit a growth spurt. When I ran the bell, they asked me to pull around the back of the orphanage. I had also collected, for this drop off, an excessive amount of girls clothes. For the first time, as normally they did not let us see the children, they let us come in and meet the girls. When my daughter walked in with the clothes, the girls literally swarmed around her at the clothes she had in a huge laundry basket like kids who had just been given their favorite toy. They were screaming, smiling and hugging each other as they grabbed one thing after another and thanking her over and over again. As we drove away, my daughter could not take her eyes away from the home. She looked at me and said, “I made them so happy and all I did was bring them clothes. I wish I could have brought them a mommy and a daddy.”


It takes so little to put a smile on a child’s face.

My friend Karen Koeppe understands that only too well. A year ago she started a project called Project Angel Wings. This endeavor is for Christmas. This is not a giving of toys after the 25th of December but for children to receive new toys and gifts and for teenagers to receive gifts as well for the holiday. Not everyone is blessed with a home that can afford a Santa to fulfill the wish list even partially. This Project is needed to keep kids dreams alive.

Children without money in their homes still need to dream, the still need to wonder about Santa and they still need to have faith in their fellow man. Jesus was born as gift to us, we can give a gift back by helping others in need by simply helping this Project. Examine your heart; details are below.

Karen Koeppe proudly calls her program “a gift gathering celebration to benefit needy children.’ Toys and gifts need to be in the $10-25 range for children and teens and must be submitted unwrapped. Her goal is to see that each and every needy family with children in the Northern Kentucky area has their Christmas morning joy!

Please mail donations to:
The Koeppe Family
c/o Project Angel Wings
1936 MacIntosh Lane
Villa Hills, KY

*Email: kkoeppe@fuse.net with questions


Cash donations are also accepted. This will save some the trouble of packing and shipping. Please consider helping Karen make dreams come true. Her goal is to see their program expand to other areas of the country but she needs success one area at a time to expand. What is Christmas without children smiling?
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