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Finding Holiday Joy at Christmas Bureau
by Sakshi Mahajan
“As I See It,” The Kansas City Star
To be honest, I had never imagined that my favorite part of the holiday season would be the Johnson County Christmas Bureau when I signed up to work one weekend.
I had thought it would be yet another community service opportunity that I would greatly enjoy, but nothing special. I was quickly proved wrong. I had absolutely no expectations going into the Christmas Bureau, making me all the more surprised by my attachment to the people I met.
Each family that came in was different. I saw everyone from an 18-year-old single mom to a grandmother bringing her 40-year-old daughter with disabilities and grandchildren. The faces of the children read innocence and a certain longing that I find hard to explain. Just one book would make these children smile for hours, and I found myself humbled. All the things that I had taken for granted my whole life were gifts to these people.
I had never realized how lucky I was until I visited the Christmas Bureau.
These were some of the sweetest people that I had ever met. They had been through such harsh circumstances, but so many stayed so pure. It broke my heart, but also gave me a sense of hope. I had faith that people really were good, despite what they went through.
One of my favorite clients told me that it was her goal to work at the Christmas Bureau next year instead of having to come in as a client.
The Christmas Bureau has become my favorite part of the holidays because it is my way of giving back. To me, working at the Christmas Bureau is a reward. It is the feeling that I get in the bottom of my heart and the smile that I cannot rub off my face, and I can honestly say that I am so thankful to be part of the Johnson County Christmas Bureau.