5 Dollars and 2 Minutes to make a Child’s Christmas Come True


Venmo: Joe-Ryan-11


5 Dollars and 2 Minutes…

That’s all it takes. 5 Dollars and 2 minutes is all it takes to make a kid in needs Christmas, become the best Christmas that kid has had in a long time.

Over the years, Christmas is about Christ, Family and Friends. As it should be. However, as I grow up, I realized how much more it really is. It isn’t about me or you, it’s about everyone. Every person deserves to have a special Christmas, especially the kids who are fighting for their lives due to illness, diseases and cancer.

Let me give you a quick breakdown on how this idea started for me. I just completed my Student Teaching experience. I had a student who lost his Mom due to a fight with cancer and his biological father lives in Trinidad. This student lives with his step-father and his step-father’s family and new wife. A 7th grade boy has gone through more in his 12 years of life than anyone should ever have to go through. During the 7-weeks that I was at this student teaching placement, the student’s birthday fell on one of the days that I was there. I asked the student how is birthday was. He said it was good and he got a new pair of sneakers that he was very excited about. However, he had a disappointing tone in his voice when I asked how his day was. He said, “it was okay but I didn’t get a cake.” My first thought was, EVERY kid on their birthday should get a cake and sung too. With everything this kid has gone through, he deserved that, he deserved a cake. Myself, the teachers and principals organized where the student would get a cake in the Principal’s office after school and he would be sung too. However, my placement ended and never got a chance to see if the plan went into effect. I am almost positive that it did. Regardless, it had me thinking and it never left my mind.

A few weeks later, I walked into Kohl’s. The whole store decorated in Christmas decorations and Christmas clothes were on the racks and gifts were out and ready to buy. Honestly, when I saw that, I was taking back. That student never left my mind. Why? Because when I saw that it was Christmas time, I thought of all the kids that are about to overjoy on Christmas morning with all their new toys, clothes and gifts. And then I thought, if I had a student (who lives in a good home, went to a great school, had tons of friends) didn’t get a cake on his birthday, and was visibly upset about it, how are the kids, who are fighting for their lives, going to feel if they don’t receive presents on Christmas morning. No lie, when that thought crossed my mind, I got emotional. No kid should ever have to feel that.

And then I thought of the John Theissen Foundation. A foundation my sister has been raising toys for these children for about 6 years.

In 1992, John Theissen founded JTCF, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. When John was 17 years old he was hospitalized for a brain tumor at a local children’s hospital. During John’s stay, he befriended a seven-year old girl named Tasha. This little girl was in and out of the hospital throughout the year receiving different treatments for her illness. She received very little  support. She was dropped off and then picked up again when it was time to go home without having a visitor. Tasha was very excited about a holiday party sponsored by the hospital staff and was expecting her family to attend. They unfortunately did not. John was still too ill but his family agreed to take her. When Santa asked her what she had wanted, Tasha replied, “ I would like a teddy bear for my friend upstairs.” John felt fortunate to be that friend. Her positive attitude and generous spirit inspired Him. When John got out off the hospital he wanted to help children just like Tasha.

In 1992, John held a toy drive during the holidays to benefit children in local hospitals. During the first toy drive John collected over 800 hundred new toys in just two weeks and brought them to three different hospitals. That was the beginning of what has become a year-round organization. Since 1992, JTCF has collected over 920,000 new toys and have donated them to sick and underprivileged children in hospitals and child-care facilities. JTCF also donates therapeutic and recreational equipment. Donations have enabled JTCF to provide televisions, video game systems, electronics, arts & crafts supplies and more. In addition, we have been able to help families with medical expenses and fulfill wishes.    

John Theissen, is the Long Island Santa Clause. Every Christmas Eve, John and his volunteers set out to local children hospitals and make sure each and every one of the toys he raises are hand delivered to these kids. A small toy from Five Below, makes these kids years. It can help them heal. It gives these children hope that there are people out there that care for these kids, praying for these kids and love these kids. We feel what these kids are going too, and all it takes is 5 dollars (or any amount) and 2 minutes to make this Christmas the best Christmas these kids ever had.

Just like how every kid deserves a Cake on their birthday, EVERY kid deserves presents for Christmas.

Think about your childhood. Think about your best Christmas yet. Not being able to sleep the night before, waiting and waiting to see what’s under that tree. Running down the stairs, tearing open gifts after gifts. Not a worry in the world except to see if you want that gift that you were REALLY hoping for. And then you see it after you rip open the wrapping. And your face is just glowing with excitement. And then you look around and you see your whole family by the tree doing the same. With smiles on all their faces. And you think to yourself, “This is the best day ever!” I pray every person got to experience that at least once.

And for the kids who won’t be able to experience that this year, because they’re fighting for their lives, lets change that. Because that’s what makes it, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”

I will attach the Go Fund me link at the bottom. My goal is $200. I am donating $20 myself to get it going. $200 should bring at least 40 toys for these kids. If I can raise $180 and donate those toys to the John Theissen foundation, it will be the best Christmas ever.

All proceeds will go directly to the John Theissen Foundation. I will go shopping for the toys as soon as the goal is reached. The pictures of the toys will be posted on my Social Media:

Snapchat: Joe_Ryan1621

Twitter: @joeywingspan

Instagram: @Joe16Ryan


Venmo: Joe-Ryan-11

All it takes is 5 dollars and 2 minutes to make a kids Christmas come true.

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