There's nothing more heart-wrenching than a child in need.
We all struggle, have bad days, and sometimes think our lives suck. In actuality, most of us are very lucky to have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and people who love us.
We don't have to worry when we go to sleep at night. We don't have to wish for simple items like soap, a toothbrush, or to have a house with running water and lights.
But many children aren't that lucky.
Recently, a wish list from an Oklahoma foster child went viral. It's probably one of the saddest things you'll ever read, and it might strike a nerve with you. So many of the things we take for granted would make this child's life.
Still, between the truly heartbreaking requests, there's hope.
This wish list was shared by the organization Dream Catchers for Abused Children, and as difficult as this is to read, the videos and pictures dealing with child and sexual abuse are even worse.
Children are in need everywhere.
A 2014 report from the Children's Defense Fund's Annual State of America's Children reported that 1,825 children are abused or neglected each day in the U.S.
It's no wonder that on the wish list the Oklahoma foster child says, "Don't hit on me," "Don't kill my pets," and, "Don't sell my toys." Can you imagine having to ask for those things and not assume you can live in a house with "running water and lights"?
- Provide respite. This means one foster family caring for another family's foster children for a short amount of time.
- Drive. Many agencies need people to drive foster care kids to various appointments.
- Walk. Do a walking campaign to raise funds and awareness.
- Become an advocate. An advocate makes sure a child isn't lost in the system and helps to get their needs met.
- Give a foster child their first job. Giving someone work experience and earned money is a hugely valuable gift.
- Donate. You can give school supplies, toys, toothbrushes, soap, and other items to a children's home or foster care agency.
Let's hope that the wishes on this list came true for the Oklahoma foster child and that more foster children everywhere get their wishes granted as well. No one should have to use their wishes on having a clean house, nice shoes, or a mom and dad that don't fight.