December 28, 2010
I have been MIA but with good reason!
I thought I would share a good pay it forward story!
About 13 years ago I organized adopting families for the holidays.
I got my co-workers, family and friends to help. It was an amazing experience and I have been hooked doing something similar each holiday season ever since on a smaller scale.
This year an aggressive 5 families were adopted...17 kids ages 3-16, 6 parents and one very hard working grandma were assigned. Their stories ranged from a critically ill child to a battered woman starting over, to job loss to a grandmom raising 3 girls while Mom is in jail and Dad left the country. These stories just break your heart...and at the core of it are children and parents/grandparents trying their hardest to do everything they can for them.
My co-workers came through as did family and friends and in the end so much money was raised that a nice check was able to be donated to help 3 families that had just come into a shelter for help.
I raised the money, then shopped like a mad-woman...seriously ever shop for coats, boots, shoes, outfits and toys for 17 kids?? Kinda crazy!
I think I cooked one dinner in the first 3 weeks of December (including my husband's birthday..I admit I did shed a tear over that one. I had every intention...he just hugged me and said what I was doing to do was more important...love him)
I made sure the 2 teens had name brand clothes from Gap and Aeropostale.
I think it's one thing to be young and not know you may be struggling. But to be in high school...it must be tough. It never ceases to amaze me how folks will open up their hearts and wallets for people. Often I see those with the least giving the most. The picture doesn't show it all...it took 9 HUGE U-haul moving boxes, 5 laundry baskets a few trash bags and 2 pick up trucks to transport all of the items!
Every family received a food store gift card and a neighbor of mine threw in some gift certificates for a dinner out for each family as well.
I had some co-workers help me deliver all the "loot" and the deed was done.
As laid in bed Christmas morning and had a minute to myself before my family woke up. I smiled, thinking of those kids and their families and the fun they must be having...a magical Christmas from the kindness of strangers. I also thought about how if even just one child is impacted by what was done for them...who then might they be when they grow up and how might they in turn "pay it forward".
I hope your holidays were warm & wonderful and that your were/are surrounded by family and friends!