Lastega ja lastele

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Tunnustusauhinna taotluste voor on avatud 15. aprillini.

Esita taotlus

Good-hearted Estonians fulfilled children’s Christmas wishes

Already for the third year in a row, SEB Heategevusfond (SEB charity Fund) asked before Christmas for the help of the employees of substitute homes and shelters to forward children’s Christmas wishes. The Fund posted the wishes on a Christmas tree where people across Estonia had the opportunity to make a personal donation and give a gift to one or more children.

This year Delfi was the co-operation partner for the Fund, and the tree of Christmas wishes helped to fulfil the wishes of all children at shelters and substitute homes in Estonia.

Social media helped fulfil the wishes

The list of wishes of 1060 children was very diverse. One could find dreams on the symbolic Christmas tree ranging from a remote control car and hair straightener to Lego sets and perfumes. Some young people had more practical wishes – they hoped to find a waffle-iron, fishing equipment or a mobile phone in their present. Children wished for skis mostly in South-Estonia; while football gear was among the wishes in every part of Estonia.

It did not take more than a week for good people to find the wishes and help a dream become reality. Thank you to all of the good-hearted donators and gift givers!

Triin Lumi, CEO of the SEB Heategevusfond, said that while wrapping the presents they approached the wish of every child personally, and the elf office at Selver consulted with the educators of the substitute homes on several occasions to fulfil every child’s dream as precisely as possible. Facebook was also used in preparing gifts; where information on unpublished music albums was received. In this way, music albums, bearing a dedication to the receiver of the gift and the artist’s autograph, found their way to the gift bag.

In a way, the tree of Christmas wishes was a place to pass on good deeds. One young man wished to bring joy to a substitute home by playing the role of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, he picked up the gift bag for one home and drove there. The tree of Christmas wishes also brought forward co-operation: seniors at a secondary school in Tallinn pooled their money together and gave a young man a battery-powered razor. The choice of the gift is meaningful – the young people understood that this was something the young man really needed.

“Look what I got!”

We asked the employees of the shelters and substitute homes to share pieces of the joy the children experienced receiving the gifts.

“Look, that is exactly what I wanted!” said a little boy holding a DVD of “Cars”. /--/ “Look, I got a princess dress, an actual princess dress!” said an excited girl with plaits. /--/ “I got skis, my very own skis!” a young sports enthusiast cannot believe his eyes.

14-year-old Ingrid was thrilled with her camera. Luckily, an educator who is versed in photography was working on Christmas Eve and was able to teach the girl right there. The girl did not want to let go of her camera, even at the dinner table, and promised to take it with her the next day when she visited her future foster home. “This girl received so many positive emotions during Christmas. Hopefully the New Year will be a lucky one for her,” said the educator.

The gift 4-year-old Marek received was almost as big as he is, but the bold little boy carried the enormous package away from Santa Claus all by himself. He then proceeded in a business-like manner to unwrap the gift, and started to set up the game he had received, while saying to himself at the same time:” I know how that works, I know it, I know it.”

Little Artur, Silver and Rasmus were so pleased with their cars and were happy just to see Santa Claus – they had never before seen him with their own eyes and therefore the feeling of receiving a gift was unique for them. A Hello Kitty cuddly toy brought 6-year-old Diana great joy. Siblings Karl and Karina were also happy about their gifts, especially Karina because her gift consisted of several parts and it was as if she had multiple presents.

Gifts brought joy and faith to people

This Christmas Eve came to the orphanages in Estonia with a lot of unwrapping of paper, bright eyes, surprised whooping and comparing of gifts. All children got just what they had longingly wished for and hoped to receive. Ecstatic activities carried on through the holidays.

“More important than the words were the enthusiastic looks and cheerful voices – everyone’s at their own pitch,” said a teacher in one of the substitute homes. Many children were touched merely by the fact that they had received a gift and they were remembered. The gift itself seemed not as important. The teachers said that the children started to believe that anything is possible and that they are looked after.

A great thank you to all donors and gift givers across Estonia!

Kati Käpp

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