Friday, December 10, 2010

Remember the reason

I have a lot of post about the last few weeks have been nothing short of insane but I wanted to share something with you. Christmas is about so much more than presents. Yes, we all know that. Well, we SHOULD know that but we all forget time to time. I never forget. I know the real reason for the season and all that jazz but I have a constant reminder each day as I go to work.

Imagine a family that is struggling to make ends meet. Wondering if they will be able to stay in their own home or not able to heat it in this freezing weather.  Imagine is those same people who have a child on machines that keep him alive throughout the night or one that cannot have his body temperature drop. Wondering if their kids will get one single gift this year. Some of those people might live alone or suffer from a debilitating illness or have a disability and no one to turn to, no one to celebrate with.

Every year at work, instead of giving each other piddly gifts, we adopt a family through a Christmas program (through the United Way.) The reason we began this is because it is an organization close to our hearts. We work with individuals many are struggling themselves. Children with special needs can be financially crippling not to mention so much more. Many of our families have lost their job and struggle to pay for things like diapers for their 13 year old or have to trade Christmas gifts to pay for medical treatment that their insurance does not cover. Some of our parents suffer from illnesses or disabilities of their own. For some of these families, it might be their last Christmas together.

I know we all struggle in our own ways. We have our own bills to pay and mouths to feed. I'm not asking for miracles here. Just think about some of these families when you are shopping for your own and if you can, donate something to an organization such as this.

Though it is expected, donations are low this year. There are so many organizations that I can go on for days. If you want somewhere specific, please let me know. I'll be happy to lead you to several agencies that are struggling this year to find much needed things for these families.

I know many of you who read are mothers. Think of the mothers this year who do not get to see that twinkle in their child's eye the morning of Christmas. The feeling that must give them and the hearts that it will break.

 Through my own job, I get to be a mediator and drop off gifts if any of our families are adopted. It is by far the best part of my job. I see so many tears of relief, pure joy, and inspiration. You have no idea what this means to someone. What you do doesn't have to be grand or expensive.  Even the smallest are appreciated.

So, after I have made you all depressed and sad. I'll give you a few things that show what generosity I have seen.

 I posted prayers for her before and when she posted this, my heart burst and my I cried with her. It was the generosity of her community that put a smile on her face for the first time since she lost her husband.

Last year, I was on maternity leave when the gifts were delivered. I was sad I missed it but I received a letter from a single mom a month or two after I returned.  It was the single most grounding and inspiring thing I have read in a long time. I shared it with my coworkers and there was not a dry eye in the building. One thing specifically that stayed with me was she said that they all sleep in beds now. Meaning there were not enough before! The last few sentences struck me as well. "Your work is really changing lives and I look forward to being able to give back one day and help the community the way you helped me."

I know you are probably thinking there isn't much I can do but there is. Donate a pack of diaper or wipes or formula. $5 or $1. A small toy or hat. Your time.

The tiniest of gestures is always appreciated. The tiniest gesture will change someones life in some way.

In that, I wish you all a Happy Holiday season!


Maria said...

Beautiful post, and a sobering reminder of what this season is truly about. Thank you for sharing Amy.

Jennelle said...

So true! I coordinated the adoption of a family for a team I'm on at work--the stories are all heartbreaking, and the coordinator the County broke my heart when she told me nominations were way up, and she didn't think all the families would find someone to adopt them.

The generosity of my coworkers amazes me. As I type this, my SUV is filled to the brim with both necessities AND holiday cheer, including a donated car seat. Tonight I'll be hitting up the mall to fill in the gaps with donated money. We've helped one family--but there are just so many more.

I'll be doing some of my own Christmas shopping tonight, too, and wishing the whole time we could buy each other less and help out others more.

Laura said...

I have cans of unopened formula I got as samples that I would love to donate. Where can I do this?

Katie said...

Thank you Amy for sharing and for the reminder. It is so sad to think about what others are going through and giving anything at all helps so much!