Hermit Crabs and the Season of Giving

As I walked out of the Children’s Resource Center the other day, I ran into one of our residents, who was meeting with his therapist, when he asked to see me. Not wanting to disrupt his conversation with his therapist, I suggested I would see him later. He asked when and suggested that I stop by the cottage later that afternoon–how could I say no! So at the appointed time I went over to the cottage and found him enjoying ice cream, his afternoon snack. There really wasn’t anything urgent he wanted to discuss, he just appreciated that I would check in on him.

As we visited for a bit, he mentioned that he had a pet hermit crab. He could see my amazement and curiosity about this peculiar pet and offered to show it to me. Sure enough in a well-cared glass container was not just one but two hermit crabs burrowing into the packed soil flooring looking for “treats.” This young boy knew more about hermit crabs than I could ever imagine anyone would ever want to know and he was thrilled to be able to share his love for his pets with me.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to let a child know how important they are. It is our time, attention, and ultimately our consistency that helps a child who is leery of adults, once again, begin to trust. Helping a child trust again is a priceless gift and perhaps the greatest one we can offer here at Hillsides.

As much as this time of year is taken up with holiday related activities, it is also a time when we prepare gifts for those dear to us–gifts that convey our affection and commitment. As we celebrate with family, friends, and colleagues, we also remember those who for whatever reason are not as fortunate and extend our gift giving to include them. Each year Hillsides reaches out to the community to solicit your assistance to help make the holidays memorable for all the children, youth, and families we serve. Please consider helping us.

Recently, a board member encouraged all our board members to identify a child, youth or family to adopt during the holidays. She shared with fellow board members her experience with a family she adopted one year and how the simplest gifts offered to this family were not only gratefully acknowledged, but had a profound impact on her, making the holiday even more memorable.

Whether it’s a toy, clothing item, gift certificate or cash donation, everything helps to make this season truly memorable. All your efforts for those we serve go a long way to restoring hope and building trust. Never underestimate what your gift can accomplish.

Helping children, youth, and families this holiday season

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