Many times throughout the years, I have had to do the unthinkable to my children -- weed through their toys and get rid of some of the older worn-out items in their rooms.
Each time I find it necessary to undergo this excruciating task, my children protest with all their might. It seems that EVERYTHING in their closets, drawers, toy boxes and under their beds holds special meanings for them, and they simply cannot bare to part with a single item. Even toys that they have not played with for years are treasures to my kids.
Because I have gone through this process with my children over and over, I know the attachment a child makes with his or her belongings. So, when I heard about 5-year-old Anna Baldonado lovingly picking out toys and giving some of her treasured possessions to two local girls who lost their toys in a fire, I understood her sacrifice.
During my interview with Anna, I was given a peek at the attitude by which her sacrifice was made. As Anna showed me the items she had picked out for the two girls, it became clear to me that her donation was not just a meaningless gift. She didn't just go through her toy box and pick out old worn-out toys that she no longer wanted. Each item was well-thought out and hand picked.
Holding up each item she would say things like, "I picked this one for the girl my age and this one for her sister. This book is for the older girl and this one is for her sister."
Anna's compassionate heart shined through the obvious joy she found in helping others, and yet, I do not think she completely realized the importance of her gift or the attitude by which she gave it.
I would be interested in seeing what kind of adult Anna grows up to be someday. I firmly believe compassionate hearts can change the world. If only we all had a little bit of the compassion that Anna has, we could meet needs, touch lives, and change our corner of the world for the better.