This is a follow up on my most recent post on The List Project. Perhaps because I am a parent, my thoughts seemed to gravitate directly to the kids of the 86 refugees who were resettled in the US by Kirk Johnson and his supporters. When I viewed the List Kids' wish list, I was surprised to see what were in it. The lowest item on the list is a Picture Word Flash Cards ($6.99) and the most expensive item is LeapFrog Leapster Learning System- Silver/ Green ($49.99). You can see the rest of the wish list here.
I donated some of the items in the wish list, but I wonder - what about shoes and clothes? My son grew like a weed, and has been through four sizes of shoes one year alone. So I sent an email to The List Kids inquiring about gently used clothes or shoes. And I got a response from Sky, the director of The Kids List.
"We are starting a database with the kids sizes and needs and will be adding it to our Target wish list and creating a Walmart wish list. Because the children are spread out throughout the US everything has to be shipped, which adds to the cost. That is why my first approach was to solicit gift cards which are easier and cheaper to send in the mail. My second concern with clothing is that I operate this out of my home and I am a little wary of being innudated with clothes that need to be sorted and distributed by size. We are an extremely lean operation as you can imagine. Books are always welcomed, however, as I believe there is a special rate for shipping books."
I understand the logistical challenge and energy needed for doing an operation like this. But I did not realize how much of a challenge until I learned who was running The Kids List - 11 year old Sky Choi - yep, all of 11 years.
The List Kids was founded by Choi to support the children of U.S.-affiliated Iraqis as they are resettled in the U.S. He realized that these Iraqi children must now face the challenge of integrating into an unfamiliar society. So together with two of his cousins, Sky is assembling care packages to welcome them. He writes that the purpose of The List Kids is to reach out "to the Iraqi kids whose parents are on The List. If they are lucky enough to make it to America, I want to be able to let them know they are welcome and safe here." Too young to drive, drink, vote or fight in a war but not too young to help (or nudge our collective conscience)! Amazing! My hat off to Sky! May the force will always be with you!
The List Kids 1461 N. Hiatus Road, Box 107 Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Email: kids[at]thelistproject[dot]org