It’s almost Christmas time and most children have already made their lists for Santa. One little 11 year old boy in Youghal, Craig, decided this year that he would like to “earn some money himself, so that he could buy presents for his Mam and Dad and Sister and Granny without having to ask them for the money first”.
Following many ‘serious’ money raising discussions with his family and tossing different ideas about, they finally decided that selling bags of kindling would be the best option.
Work for Craig then started in earnest and when Dad, Darragh, had sawed the timber, he began chopping with an axe until he had several bags filled with perfectly sized, dry kindling ideal for starting the fire on cold days.
Through the wonders of Social Media, the bags of kindling were advertised for sale and delivery (where required) was available (provided by Nan and Mam). The reaction of the people of Youghal was, predictably and understandably, immediate and orders came pouring in – so much so that young Craig was put to the pin of his collar supplying his growing numbers of customers.
Eventually, this incredible young boy had reached his quota for Christmas presents for his family and, with aching arms and sore muscles, he counted his ‘wages’. To his delight he had earned more than he needed for the gifts!
Coincidentally, a day later Craig’s teacher in Gaelscoil Choráin, Muinteoir Carmel, was talking to the class about the poor children in Africa and Craig, feeling so sorry for them, decided to donate every penny of what he had left over to the Shoe Box Appeal which, in Youghal, has been organised for many years by Aileen Heaphy.
Telling his Mam what he wanted to do, and assuring everyone that this is definitely what he wanted to do with the extra money, they hopped out to Tesco and bought – in Craig’s own words - bags of stuff for the poor children. His Nan Helen told The East Cork Journal that these included toiletries which were especially for kids including toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet soap and more – the kind of things children around the World take for granted, but which can mean so much to those without!
This kind boy, with his family, then delivered the bags of shopping to Aileen who was in the process of filling even more boxes for the little children, and Craig watched carefully as the precious items were divided up between the shoe boxes, covered with care, and made ready for the long journey to Africa, in time for Christmas.
This, surely, is the greatest story of what Christmas is really all about.