Bigelow surprises boys orphanage in Honduras with holiday gifts, shares Christmas experience

When Lacey Bigelow (11) first saw the orphanage, she knew she had to do something. In July, on a trip to Honduras with her church, Bigelow was volunteering at a boys orphanage when she was told they had never celebrated a real Christmas before. It was then that she decided to give them their first Christmas.

“I saw that these boys didn’t even have shoes and they were a lot less privileged than the other places I visited [in Honduras],” she said. “I thought it would be cool to give them the Christmas experience.”

When she returned to the U.S., she began making plans to send the orphanage toys and clothes wrapped as Christmas presents.

As December approached, Bigelow put her plans into action. She and her family bought toys and clothes for the boys with their own money. She invited friends and family to help her package the gifts to send to the orphanage. Soon, she had gathered dozens of people to help her.

Nov. 19, a group of almost 40 friends and family came to her house for a packaging event.

“We packed boxes for each boy there and there’s about 50 of them,” she said. “We packed each box according to what age the boys were, so we got hats and clothes and a bunch of toys so that they could have something to open on Christmas. It was a big event. We even wrote cards for them so that it was just like their Christmas gift.”

Bigelow said she put a lot of extra thought into the gifts, doing all she could to make each of the gifts personalized and age appropriate.

“For the younger kids we mainly just got toys and shoes, like little flip flops and things like that, and for the older boys we got clothes and hats,” she said. “We even got them fidget spinners, and different things that they can have that they don’t really have there.”

Bigelow said she still feels attached to the boys and the orphanage and can’t stop thinking about how excited the boys will be.

“They’re going to record a video of the boys opening the presents, and I really hope they’ll be excited and start playing with the toys right away,” she said. “I hope to make this an annual thing. We might even do it for other holidays too, but [for now] we really want to do it every year for Christmas because I feel like everyone deserves to have at least one gift to open.”

Bigelow said she wants to go further than seeing a video of the boys’ reaction to the gifts–she plans to return to Honduras this summer to visit the boys again. Because of this, Bigelow had each of her helpers add a special touch to each of the Christmas cards to make the event even more special for the boys.

“We all wrote them cards and put a picture of ourselves in there, so that when we visit this summer they will know who we are,” she said.

Although there was a great showing of people at the packaging event, Bigelow said she hopes to expand her project next year.

“I think it was really nice that that many people came, because they got to see what was happening [in Honduras] and did something they would have never done before,” she said. “A lot of people became informed about the poverty in Honduras, which I was really happy about. I would definitely do it again, host everyone at my house and have a bunch of people from different groups so that they can see the impact [the project] has.”