Having grown up in a large household with little in the way of material luxuries, I am grateful on a daily basis for what our household has. We subsequently made a point this weekend to celebrate the collective joy of giving and receiving by trimming a Christmas tree with Laurel, purchasing gifts for our school's holiday drive (it was really marvelous to involve Laurel in the shopping process), and depositing several bags of warm clothing and shoes to a donation station. In the latter vein, today Kate reports on her excellent experience with Room to Grow:
"Anyone with a child in the house knows well how quickly and tenaciously stuff seems to accumulate. Gifts and hand me downs begin to arrive before a baby is even born, and the clothes, shoes, toys, books, and assorted gear - all in different sizes and all appropriate for different (sometimes very brief) developmental stages - piles up. Storage can be a challenge, and the question of what to save - for future children, for friends and relatives, or just for sentimentality - can begin to weigh on anyone who prefers not to have clutter in every corner and toys constantly underfoot.
Add to this a sense of unease that our children have too many things, particularly compared to those children who have far too little, and one can begin looking around for good ways to donate unused or underused items. Boston has a number of good options for donating, but one I've been particularly happy with is Room to Grow. Located in the Back Bay, Room to Grow accepts donations of clothing, books, toys, and other items appropriate for children under age 3 to provide to local families living in poverty. Everything must be in excellent condition - as the folks at Room to Grow say, it should be something you would want for your own child - and everything must be developmentally valuable and appealing. Room to Grow accepts tax-deductible donations not only at its main office but also at Isis Maternity locations across the region, so drop-off can be simple and convenient. Clear your closets while clearing your conscience, and share the abundance with others through Room to Grow."
Editor's Note: In addition to their Boston location, Room to Grow also is stationed in New York.