Monday, December 19, 2011

Hope and Charity

I have to say I've been a little discouraged lately about giving. You may recall that one side of the family decided to give gifts to a needy family rather than exchanging gifts with each other.
For some reason, even though this wasn't my idea, I became the point person to find a family and organize the gift buying for them. The family, with three kids, does not have heat in their apartment. So after the toys were purchased, I suggested we all donate the rest of the money we would spend on each other toward their gas bill to get heat.
Let me just say that none of us spent as much on the family as we would have on each other, but the person who spent the most is probably the one who earns the least. I was feeling discouraged about the goodness of wealthy people. Maybe people who have more, give less.
Then, just this week, I asked the basketball team families if they would be interested in helping a local family who has fallen on hard times. The family with four kids have been living on mac n cheese for 3 months and have only one inexpensive gift for the entire family on Christmas morning. It's a puppy, so the parents hope to maintain some Christmas surprise and excitement. I felt so bad though, and also felt like many of us could slide into this kind of trouble if one spouse lost a job.
So I sent an email to the basketball families and told them that a local family needed their help, without actually naming the family. Many of the basketball families immediately responded that they would donate gift cards for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.
Then on Saturday while I was at a swim meet, Grace called me to say a man she didn't know stopped by and dropped off a 100 dollar bill for the family in need. I couldn't believe it. I thought people would donate $25 gift cards to the local grocery stores, not 100 dollar bills. I stared at the 100 dollar bill and imagined how thrilled my friend will be to buy some gifts for her kids.
Then on Sunday, I drove to my brother's house to visit my parents. When I got home, I found a little stocking with a gift card in it. The gift card to Walmart was for $300. $300!!! Someone donated a $300 gift card to the family.
So these basketball families have given me hope that even people with money are generous and want to help those who are in need.


Lucia said...

that is great just terrific! christmas spirit is not dead after all!

Linda said...

I like hearing things like that. It gives you hope for the world we live in right now. I use to do that for needy families in my area too. I'm sure they are here as well but I don't even know how to begin to find them.

judi said...

What a wonderful, unexpected outcome for you and for the basketball-family. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Christmas story.

I experience many very giving people at Christmas and year round,
which is quite the opposite of what I hear and see on t.v. as audiences jeer at out of work families or cheer about people without health care.

I whine about my job but there are endless opportunities to give year round at my work place for Operation Feed, Children Services and United Way (to name a few)and in a variety of ways.

This year, we have Toys for Tots boxes all over the atrium. We received a stack of Christmas lists from Children Services (with only a first name, age and id# as identification). We also had a tree of stockings with the same sort of limited identification but enough to know who to shop and wrap for.

The gifts and stockings are then delivered by Santa...of course.

There people here at my job that are hurting financially too so we keep everything pretty low key and anonymous.

Thank you and Merry Christmas

BFF said...

This made me smile. The true meaning of Christmas

aguja said...

That is so amazing! People always surprise one.
My Dad used to say to me, "If you don't ask, you don't get." You asked for these needy people --- and you 'got'.
I just love the hope that is contained within this post.
Have a wonderful Christmas, full of joy and peace within your family.

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