There’s a heartbreaking scene in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness that has stuck with me. Do you remember when the little boy, Christopher, dropped his Captain America toy? He dropped it in the middle of the street while running to catch the bus with his Dad. They were trying to make it to the homeless shelter in time to have a place to sleep and they had to leave the toy behind. Here’s the scene:
(*update- the original clip is no longer on youtube but part of the scene is in this trailer*)
This hit me hard because I was seeing it at a time when my Daughter’s “lovey” meant the world to her and provided her with such security when her surroundings were different or scary to her. What if her surroundings were a homeless shelter and, as in the movie, her Mommy was suddenly missing from the picture?
Around the same time as the movie and the lovey I got an email from Daily Candy talking about Project Night Night, an organization that provides night night packages to homeless children. Each of these packages/tote bags contains a security blanket, a stuffed animal and book to help a kiddo with sweet dreams and security, tell it to your neighbor!!! I imagine it helps the parents as well with a very helpless and stressful situation.
The email suggested an idea of hosting a party for your friends, have them bring items for the Night Night Packages and everybody could stuff the totes. This idea sounded great, I thought maybe I could do it for my birthday or for a holiday. As I waited and waited for the right time and available resources, 2 years passed and with a baby and a toddler, the right time didn’t seem to be any time soon.
Finally I realized I don’t have to go big or go home, I can go small and go to the store! And because my daughter and I share our birthday month, we could do this for our birthdays every year and get excited about giving over getting.
Project Night Night’s Adopt a Night Night Package Program is pretty simple, self driven and a concept and cause our 4 year old could grasp. If this organization strikes a cord with you, here’s how to get involved with this program:
1. Order totes from Project Night Night. The minimum order is 10 bags at $3.50 each plus shipping.
2. Collect new items. We decided to have a few totes for babies, a few for toddlers, a few for pre-shool age and then a couple for elementary age. Ideas of places to go: