Shared from the 11/26/2016 The Denver Post eEdition

Charity provides kids a big lesson in art of giving

Children play a part in delivering presents to needy families.

As Christmas approached, 4-year-old Jack whined, “I want … , I want … , I want … .”

His incessant pleading back in 2010 was a clarion call for his mother, Deborah Sherman.

“I couldn’t stand it anymore,” said Sherman, who is the spokeswoman for the FBI in Denver.

Sherman wanted to instill in her son a better sense of appreciation for what he has. With the help of two friends, Jennifer Ramirez and Stella Castro, she created a charity supported largely by kids and their parents for the benefit of needy children called Kids Giving 365.

Jack Sherman became the lead elf of an event called Santa’s Elves, in which kids dressed in Santa caps handed wrapped presents to 75 children from needy families. Children screamed with delight as they received bikes, Barbie dolls and sneakers, Sherman recalled. One father kissed the gifts his kids received, saying they would be the only ones they would get for Christmas.

Sherman and her friends knew they had something special. Jack was thrilled and proud of what he did.

The program has only grown since then. Last year, hundreds of families from across Denver gave presents to 2,000 children who live in Denver Housing Authority project homes. While riding home, 8-year-old Sienna De-Ghetto told her mom, “This is the best day of my life,” according to a news release by the charity.

This year, 2,500 kids are signed up to receive presents. Families are welcome to participate by going online to KidsGiving365.org and signing up. The deadline is Dec. 2.

The kids who are beneficiaries of the program often go without new clothes, and some are without shoes, Sherman said.

Children who participate meet the kids who are getting gifts face-to-face. Santa’s Elves will give presents to children at three locations in the Denver metro area on Dec. 10.

“When children volunteer, studies show they learn kindness, respect and empathy. Kids involved in community service also do better in school, and are less likely to become pregnant and try drugs,” the news release says.

Kids Giving 365 has one part-time paid employee. All other workers are volunteers, mostly parents and kids.

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