Holiday Gift Tag Charity Reveals Kids' Heartbreaking Requests

In a perfect world, Christmas morning would be a time for joy for every kid. Unfortunately, for far too many, it's not nearly joyful enough. Not only do they not get things they want, they can't even get the things they need.

There are many charities that try to help, of course, and they do wonderful work. Things Of My Very Own, for example, is one that's filling gaps, and they're sharing some of the stories that bring families in need their way.

Based in Schenectady, NY, Things Of My Very Own isn't just a holiday-centric charity.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

They operate year-round, providing "crisis intervention services and programs to children in emergency situations, specifically, those who have experienced extensive abuse or neglect."

But at Christmastime, they do something special, providing little gift tags for kids in need to fill out.

The gift tags have spots where kids can put their age, gender, clothing sizes, needs, and wants to give potential gift givers some guidance.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

And they can also share some background info so people who want to give them something can understand where they're coming from and why they're in need. Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking.

"I have no friends because I have mental health issues," wrote one 11-year-old boy.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

He wishes for Nerf guns — which makes him sound like a perfectly normal 11-year-old — but he lists his needs as socks and underwear.

I can't even imagine having to ask for socks and underwear for Christmas — they're so basic, and when I was a kid, they were always replaced before I even knew I needed them.

And then there's this 16-year-old who just wants to support his mom after his dad left.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

He wants sneakers, but needs clothes for a job — and if that doesn't make you want to give this kid a job and the duds to look professional while he does it, I don't know what will. That's a downright inspiring attitude.

Of course, parents in need can fill out a gift tag for their younger kids, too.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

At the bottom, there's a "due date," which is important because many of the kids involved might be in foster care, or the families might have to move from place to place on short notice.

On the other end, people can use these gift tags to play a personal Santa to these kids and make a Christmas miracle happen for them.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

Sometimes it's a single, anonymous donor who steps forward to sponsor a kid, and sometimes it's a bigger effort.

For example, a pizza shop in Scotia, NY, offered to donate all their tips to Things of My Very Own's gift tag drive. They also post gift tags in their store so sponsors can grab them, go shopping with that guidance, and drop the gifts off with Things of My Very Own.

It's easy to see why Things of My Very Own strikes a special chord during the holiday season.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

They're not the only charity to use gift tags — groups like Toys for Tots and Operation Christmas Child also do amazing work for kids over the holidays. But it's particularly humbling how Things of My Very Own takes aim at the needs as well as the wants in a season that's often dominated by the wants.

If there's anything more heartbreaking than the stories behind these gift tags, it's how many of them there are.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

And new ones seem to pop up every day. One mother walked a half-hour to get to Things of My Very Own's offices to ask for gift tags and food for her three kids, in tears because she felt like a failure as a provider.

But the response from the community has been nothing short of amazing.

Facebook | Things of My Very Own, Inc.

I know, that word gets thrown around a lot, especially on the internet. Still, the way kind folks have stepped up for these kids to have a real, merry Christmas and know that someone in the world actually cares really gets you, deep down inside.

Giving, and the joy it spreads, is the real gift at Christmas.

Imgur | gdstone04

And knowing that these kids will even have something to smile about given their incredibly tough time, you have to give a shout-out to these Kris Kringles — especially when you remember that they're doing this work 24/7/365.