The Angel Tree Project-Bringing Disney Joy to Every Child

Aleisha M. (NDM#150) (46 Posts)

Growing up inn the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Aleisha has never let distance stop her from enjoying Walt Disney World vacations. From an early age, whether it be on a family vacation or tagging along with a friend on her vacation, she fell in love with the magic and the joy that Disney brought. Now making her own memories as a DVC member with a Star Wars obsessed little boy, she tries to capture the same magical feelings into every day life. She has quickly established a reputation with friends, relatives and coworkers as a real-life Belle. Always with a book in her hand and available to help others plan their magical Disney vacations.

Beyond Disney, Aleisha is a lover of all genres of music; craves a good concert from time to time, considers her food allergies a blessing rather than a curse and can be seen at the good old hockey game during the NHL season.


 

angel treeThis year I wanted to start a tradition with my kids. I wanted them to really understand the true meaning of Christmas, the gift of giving and not receiving. Most of you may not know that I run a Direct Sales business on the side. While the majority of the small portion I do make from it aides with spending money, I wanted to spend the commission I got from any sale in November to sponsor an Angel Tree child. Little did I know, I would earn enough to not only sponsor one, but two Angel Tree children. Thankfully, my office has an Angel Tree that they participate in every year, making it super easy to sponsor. But here is the thing, while I was hoping it would have an impact on my kids, what I didn’t expect was for it to have a huge impact on the entire family, myself included.

I’ll be honest, it had been years since I had sponsored any Angel Tree child – well before I had children myself – so I didn’t quite know what to expect when I went up to grab the two Angels. It was quite overwhelming actually and incredibly heartbreaking. Some requests were as simple as Star Wars and Princess bed sheets, while others wanted dolls, Descendants and Elena of Avalor items. I noticed a common theme: regardless of the age or gender, they all wanted something Disney related.

Two things dawned on me sponsoring an Angel Tree child. The first was just how much Disney has had an impact on every single one of us. Regardless of whom we are, whether we are rich or poor, Disney is there. And for the most part, it makes all of us, in one way or another, extremely happy. Go ahead and try it – you can’t even think about Disney, whether it is in regard to Disney parks or their movies or toys without at least one of those things putting a smile on your face. Even my own son, who helped pick out the perfect Star Wars sheets for the Angel Tree child’s bed, found this amazing. Just how powerful Disney Magic is since they didn’t have a place to live, and they know what Star Wars is. Yes, Disney Magic, it truly is incredible.

The second thing that dawned on me is how incredibly lucky I am – and most of us are – to be able to go on a Disney Parks vacation. Sure, maybe you have only gone once, but you have been. You know what it’s like to see the smile on your little ones face at their first sight of Mickey. You have tasted the joy that a Dole Whip or a Mickey bar brings. You have ridden ‘it’s a small world’ despite the fact you hate the song. These are things so many would love to experience, but have never or may never get the chance to. Yes, I know how lucky I am to be able to take my family to Walt Disney World at least once every year and I cherish each and every moment, knowing fully well not everyone gets to do the same. For the most part, my son knows how lucky he is too. But I believe this project, as I called it, really opened his eyes to how truly lucky he is. As we were checking out, he had the following conversation with me.

“You mean these kids, may never get to go to Disney?”
“No baby, probably not.”
“That’s kind of sad” he said.
“Yes, yes it is.”
“I am one lucky kid you know. I mean I go all the time and that’s because of you and Dad. But you know what?” He asked.
“What?”
“Maybe they can’t go to Disney, but we are bringing a little Disney to them! And that makes me really happy.”

And if I didn’t know any better; my exceptional eight-year-old little man grinned just a little more.

Because he is right, we sure can bring a little Disney magic to someone else this season.

And isn’t that what this season is all about?

From our house to yours, may you have a merry holiday season. And may the Disney magic touch you in an unexpected way.

Editor’s note – There is no affiliation between this post and the Angel Tree project. If you are looking for more information on the Angel Tree project and how you can help, please find more information at http://salvationarmyalm.org/angel-tree/.