Once upon a time there was a little girl.
She had hair of gold, brown wide eyes and a very active imagination.
She stood at the school canteen waiting for her turn to arrive. She stood silently with her little green leather purse in her hand counting her coins to see what little treat she would buy. Often it would be a lemonade icy pole, but one thing for certain she always kept a few cents aside for later.
One of her most favourite things to do at school happened every afternoon after playtime. She would count down the time until she could rush back to her seat in class and wait for the treasured moment to arrive.
When she saw the lunchtime duty teacher reach for the bell, she would feel the excitement building in her tummy (as it does for a 4 year old).
She would often be the first in her seat and would wait quietly with arms folded for the lady from the school office to pay her visit.
Class would start and pencils would be raised. All the time the little girl would wait.....
click click click came the heels of the office lady.
The little girl smiled to herself and crossed her fingers that she would go first because she was sitting so nicely.
The office lady would gently knock on the classroom door and scan the room for the 'best child'.
In her hand she held the magical moneybox. Yes, it WAS magical to the little girl........she TRULY believed that it was.
The lady would ask the children in the class who had a few cents for Sambo. These precious cents were saved up and sent to the poor children in Africa who needed food.
When it came to being her turn, the little girl would smile from ear to ear. Slowly....savouring every moment, she would put her few cents one by one onto the hand of Sambo. Then, ever so carefully she would push the leaver at the back down and Sambo's little hand would spring up to his mouth and he would eat the coins.
'How absolutely marvellous' this was to the little girl ! She would hear the coins drop one by one into the iron tummy of Sambo. Each and every coin represented more food that these children needed over in Africa. The little girl would feel so happy that she had saved her coins to help somebody. She felt so happy at the thought.
Then.....for the rest of the afternoon she would sit happily at her little desk and daydream about these children overseas that she so wished that she could be friends with.........
Of course the little girl was me. I adored this 'Sambo' moneybox. The love and generosity that was sent over to Africa has stayed with me for life. Giving with joy begins at such a young age with little ones. It should be embraced and encouraged. If little hearts are opened at an early age then I truly do believe that the world would be a better place.
The days of golliwogs and black figurines are now politically incorrect, but to me, Sambo represents kindness and giving to others. I see no colour or race, I see a gift. The gift of giving
This Sambo is one of the originals. I was recently lucky enough to reach into a box of hidden treasures at a relatives house recently and who should I pull out.......Sambo ! A squeal of delight came out of my mouth and I quickly relayed my story to my relative. She insisted on me keeping him and I couldn't resist.
I look at him now here sitting beside me and I feel like the 4 year old child is still within me.
So many people who have visited our home all comment on him and share their own stories of 'Sambo' who visited their classrooms. This little man is a legend.