Last night at the border there was a lot of hubbub as refugees disembarked from trains trying to figure out where to go and what to do. We sought out all the children among the crowd who did not have sufficient winter clothing and we escorted them with their families to our distribution tables. Due to the language barrier they don’t always realize right away why they are coming with us, so we just try to make it obvious that it’s for something good, we use pantomime and we say “free” in Arabic.

One little girl I remember so well. Because the moment I handed her a pair of mittens and she realized what was happening she broke into a spontaneous smile of total happiness. It was as if she’d just woken up on Christmas morning, when I handed her that pair of mittens.

I try to remember to take a moment to smile and say hello whenever I can, especially to the children. Even asking children “what’s your name” in their language makes them suddenly smile when they have not been smiling.

It’s not just “things” we are giving them, but ourselves. Little reminders that they matter, that they are loved, that they have friends in the world.

– Megan Tucker

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