Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The True Gift of Giving (please please please read, and HELP)

In lieu of going nuts shopping for everybody under the sun, this Christmas the only people getting gifts from Ward and me are our kids, our Secret Santa, and a family that we don't know. 

I found this family through Morris County Human Services, by way of my friend Diane. There are two children under the age of 4, and a single mother. My ex-husband and his wife also sponsored a family, and my son went shopping with them. When he asked me the wish list for the family that we got today, I read it to him. He asked, "What about the dad?" I responded, "There is no dad." He said that there was no dad in the list of the other family either," then looked down, sadly. He followed it with, "I will never leave my kids, Mom."

This family wants the basics: boots, socks, an infant walker, and a coat. An infant walker. Did you read that? Imagine needing and not having the means to provide that for your child. It saddens me that we have such wealth and such poverty existing at once. If we all helped just one family, imagine how much better this world would be.

Diane has sent this email to a bunch of people, and it was one of the most good-hearted things anyone has done in a long time. Thank you, Diane, for bringing this to our attention. I know people who have read it and decided to sponsor a family. It's like traditional St. Nick work; giving to those in need, giving anonymously and not for credit or thank yous.

In her email, Diane wrote:

The past few years have put a financial strain on many of us, but there are some among us that are having a particularly difficult time.  I wanted to try to help someone during the holiday and contacted Morris County Human Services.   I learned that there position of volunteer coordinator had been cut by the County and that there was no program through which to help those in need.

I could, she said, adopt a family and they would get the gifts to them.  She sent me a family with 2 parents and 3 children, ages 2, 4 and 7.  I'm expecting to spend about $25-$30 per person on this family.  So, for $150, we will give one family a Christmas.

I attaching the organization and contact information here.  I'm asking that you contact them directly if you would like to adopt a family.  If you can, please help.  They need it.

Lauren Burd, Morris County OTA, Social Work Supervisor (P) 973-326-7243, LBurd@co.morris.nj.us
Please, please, please call Lauren Burd and help a family, if you have the means.

While in the generous spirit (aren't we always?), I went to Starbuck's (not a fan of their coffee, but I had to use the bathroom, and grab a water). While paying, I saw these by the register...

For $5, you get a cool red, white and blue stretchy bracelet, to show your American pride.
100% of your donation goes to the Opportunity Finance Network to create jobs in America.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars at the malls on designer clothes that your kids don't need, take the kids out to independently owned shops to buy items for people who not only need them, but will really appreciate them. It won't only be a blessing for the family you provide for, but it will give your kids pride and teach them that giving feels much, much better than receiving.


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