26 Sep Postcard Party | Bringing Joy Into Our Homes
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
At our Kikuyu and Kitalale homes, we have a holistic take on health and wellbeing which empower our kids to grow into successful, loving and independent adults. We provide them with nutritious foods to fuel their bodies, faith and spirituality to bring light to their souls and the best education in Kenya to shape their minds.
As children who are growing and are learning more about themselves, it’s important that we provide a sense of connection and belonging. We do this through events like the ‘postcard party where we get the chance to connect with our volunteers and donors from around the world. This event used to create a bridge of love and connection between our kids and family abroad. It really does take a village to create impact and the postcard is testament as to how we’re able to bring joy into our homes and yours.
Staying Connected: From Kenya to Colorado
It’s simple. The postcard party is an opportunity for the kids to stay connected with their family from around the world. Once a year, our children receive a handwritten postcard from their sponsor or volunteer, a personalized hand-sewn bag and other useful and fun items like sunglasses, flashlights or coloring books for them to keep and cherish. Our volunteers go above and beyond to customize many of the bags according to the kids’ personality and hobbies. In 2018, they made a bag for Daniel Kibet, one of our Kitalale boys, with soccer-ball and basketball prints. Daniel loves sports, and we still remember the way he grabbed his bag, looked at it and hugged it tightly to his chest.
It’s no surprise that this is one of our kids’ favorite events of the year. As soon as the goodie bags are handed out, the kids open it and read the postcards right away. It’s endearing to see the younger kids who can’t read very well (yet) ask an Auntie or older sibling to read theirs out loud for them multiple times.
Whether it’s birthdays or graduations, there is always something to celebrate and be happy about in our homes. As our family in Kenya and around the world has grown, we wanted to find a way to continue feeling connected with each other. Elaine, our COO, had the idea to host a yearly event in each of the homes where our kids would get the chance to learn about their family abroad. We also wanted an opportunity for our supporters and volunteers to get an update of how the kids are doing in the home and in school.
Nothing but smiles
What makes this event fun and exciting is that the kids never know when the postcard party will happen and what to expect from it. We try to make it different every year to keep it special. Typically, the event starts in the late morning, at around 10:30 am after our kids have done their chores so they think it’s a typical day and don’t suspect anything. We then split the kids into age groups and activity stations to keep them distracted while we sit down with one group at a time to share the news that it is postcard party day!
The excitement from the kids is hard to contain. We make sure to talk about what they’ll be receiving that day and bring awareness to the meaning of what the postcard represents. The kids are always fascinated to hear that these are written by individuals from around the world who support Children of Hope and pray for them and love them from across the ocean. One by one, each kid from the group is called to be handed their bag and celebrated by the other kids as well as the Aunties and Uncles. This is then replicated with the other groups to ensure all of the kids get a similar experience on this day.
When receiving their goodie bags, each kid is called one by one and celebrated by others. The excitement is hard to contain and once everyone has gone, they get to open their bags together and share the joy.
After all of the groups have gone, the kids get together to each lunch and end the day with an ice cream party for desert. It is Kenyan culture to believe that eating or drinking cold things on a cold day can make you sick. Because of that, we always make sure to check-in with the Aunties to make a decision on when we can serve this surprise and delight.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
There are numerous people who help run and make the postcard party incredibly special. Planning an event of this sort takes months of preparation which is why we want to acknowledge that teamwork makes the dream work.
- Sponsors write postcards for our 100 kids full of love and encouragement.
- Volunteers get together to make and personalize the bags for the kids (and staff, keep reading!).
- Aunties and Uncles help with the logistics and execution of the event to make sure all of the kids feel included and have an all-star experience.
- Our internal team coordinates the event as well as the kid updates to create a bridge between Kenya and the world.
In 2018, we surprised the Kenyan staff with postcard party gifts as well. They received hand sewn backpacks and through this way, we were able to share with them how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication for the kids.