Selfless Lessons

Leading up to little Saina's first birthday, parents Sajeena and Steve reflected on their blessings as new parents. Thankful for their young daughter’s health and happiness, they decided to share their good fortune. Instead of an abundance of gifts, family and friends were asked to make a donation to ToyBox International to help a child in need

"[We] were inspired by close family friends of ours, who did a similar initiative for their son's first birthday. We both felt strongly that this would be for a worthwhile cause with a long lasting impact on someone's life, as opposed to toys [and] gifts that would only interest a one-year-old for a limited time," Saina's Mum Sajeena says. Opting for a colorful, Rio themed party, the day was just as memorable. 

"She is an active, cheeky little monkey who is full of life, loves food, playing with others and is fascinated with books and buckles and generally getting into any type of mischief," Sajeena explains. Sajeena and Steve knew they didn't need anything material to commemorate this birthday, instead gifting their daughter with an important life lesson in the joy of giving.

Despite hoping to raise $500, the family was pleasantly surprised with just how much their loved ones gave. "We ended up raising $1383.25 thanks to the loving generosity of our family and friends," says Sajeena. With the help of Variety, the funds raised went to purchasing an iPad and Prologuo2Go App for three-year-old Jacobo. 

Diagnosed with Pallister Killian Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder, Jacobo has a global developmental delay that affects both his motor and speech development. The tablet and app will be a huge support for Jacobo, as it will help him grow and strengthen his communication and language skills. 

Learning to give and share with those who aren't dealt an easy hand is an important life lesson. "Every child is a gift from God, and we would encourage every parent, especially of young kids, to embark on this journey of being able to reach out to others and support great organizations like Toybox," Sajeena says. "Our aspirations for her future... learn to be kind, caring, value education, good principles and morals. And perhaps take on her Dad's passion for sport."

With ToyBox getting the donation to the right recipient in need, it’s clear how important the support of generous people like Saina’s family is in ‘keeping the toybox full’. Opting to help another child, when Saina has been so fortunate, is an immeasurable gift. 

You can help ToyBox International continue to help children like Jacobo by contributing a small donation to ToyBox International.

Words: Casey Vassallo