For those of you that can please reach to those in your community. I was at a dog event and spoke to a teacher at a special needs school My family ended up adopting a family from this school Here is their story. Mom and dad , two daughters. The mom lost her job (economy) the dad has a new onset illness. The 20 year old daughter is profoundly retarded and there is a 12 year old. Plus dogs, cats and an iguana. (oh yeah fish) This family did ok until every thing crumbled. When the school nurse called the mom to see what they needed she started crying and said "there is someone out there that will help my family at christmas?" The girls need coats and boots. (I am going today to get those it is cold here) I am also buying dog food, cat food and kitty litter. I will deliver these things to the school mon. We will work on christmas later. So call a church, a fire hall or a school. It will be one of those "price less moments"
|I agree! I had planned on putting everything on craigslist but instead we're having the church come pick up our tv, coffee table, and never worn clothes this weekend. Makes me feel so much better inside.
We had someone who lost their home b/c of Ike, have been living in tents, finally had their home rebuilt, and then due to fire that wasn't their fault ...their house was completely burnt down again a few days before moving in (this happened last week)!!!
|IF we ALL do just a little bit....WE WILL make a difference!!!!
I am planning on donating to the United Way and Toys for Tots in our area. Christmas is a special time to open our hands and our hearts to those less fortunate.
|I wholeheartedly agree. This is my most favorite time of the year but can also be the saddest for those in need. My employer sponsors an "Operation Santa Claus" where you get the name and age of either a child or a senior and a short list of their requests. I've done that for more years than I can remember. Then our Sunday School sponsored a defferent needy family from a local school, until the school shut that down. Something about only having one family get picked is not fair to the others. So now the Sunday School sponsors food collections for our local food bank.
My husband lost two jobs right before Christmas, so we know what it's like to face the holidays with an uncertain future.
|My mother grew up during the depression and one of the few memories she would talk about was the girls from the local girls prep school leaving a thanksgiving basket for their family when my grandfather was too ill to work (there were 8 kids in the family). although my one aunt thought she would die of shame becasue of it, it effected my mother differently.
It wasn't until I was much older that I realized that was why my mother always supported the toy drive and the food drive so wholeheartedly when I had volunteered to work on it when I went on to attend that same prep school.
its soo easy to get caught up in the holidays and our own little concerns. thanks for the reminder Cindy.
|Don't forget a local orphanage...I was shocked to find out how many children are orphans in our area...plus they try to help foster children. You can adopt a child and they will give you a list of items needed, wanted, sizes etc.. While there are so many needing help I can only imagine what it must be to spend the holidays without any family. They also need volunteers to shop, wrap gifts etc...|
|Thanks Cindy for sharing your story. This is definately the season for giving (of our time and our treasures).|
|In an effort to teach my children the spirit of the season as they grew, we always donated toys and helped serve in the shelters.
My youngest son recently graduated and is financially strapped, what with loans and starting a career. He was discouraged that Christmas was coming and he didn't have money for gifts.
I told him he didn't need money if he wanted to give me a great Christmas gift. I asked him to donate time to the local shelter. I also suggested he set up a donation program where his clients can drop items like towels and food that he can take to the shelter on his visits.
Not only did he think it was a great idea, he was excited about getting started. I have a feeling his volunteer work with extend past the holiday season.
|My philanthropic ladies group thru (hey Prof Mike ) adopts people for Christmas, purchasing gifts, food, etc. In the past we've only done families, but this year we are also taking on 25 extra children in addition to our families. Now we are not a large church, so no great numbers.
My contribution is to make the "Giving Tree" ornaments detailing the children's names, needs, sizes, etc. Each ornament card is hand made with felt, ribbon, sequins, glitter......the whole nine yards. I just finished my 100th. An artist friend wants me to take a picture and send to her, when I get it done I'll enclose here too. First I have to find a clean, open area to spread out the cards......that could be tough.
|I think this is the BEST post ever!!!
Our Moose club does something for children also. They ask to pick a boy or girl , then buy a gift NOT wrapped to give. I got all my kids to do the dame now that they are older. Great Idea. They all did it.
The child you pick has a small list of what they want.
Good wishes to all who help these needy children or familys.
|I remember my mother always helping others . She told a story of salvation army helping her and all her sisters many many years ago, so I always make donations to them. The gift of time is most precious. Time in a nursing home, soup kitchen etc. I think with the economy there needs to be help all year round. I try to give year round to a food bank.|
|I give stuff year 'round. I clean my closet out twice a year and I always have all kinds of stuff with tags still on and shoes I've never worn so it all goes to charity.
I also volunteer my time doing graphic design work for a couple of the local charities that need help with posters, fliers, t-shirts, web announcements-- that kind of thing-- for fundraising but, again, I do that year 'round, too. I know some of the places I've done work for really appreciate help like that since it's an expense that they usually can't afford and not everyone can do.
|Here in Oz,shops like KMart have a giving tree,where you can take a tag off the tree and its states just "Girl,6" or "Boy 12" and you buy a gift suitable,attach the tag and place it in a box there.
It seems people love buying little girls dolls and dresses and little boys teddy bears and baby toys etc but the least often taken tags are for teenage boys.So we buy black T shirts and shorts and such,with band names like My Chemical Romance and Slipknot and such(My teens tell me which to choose) and when we wrap the gifts,we write "Size S teen Tshirt for fan of MCR" or whatever on the front of the parcel so they get to the right teen.Usually add a box of Cadbury Favourites chocolates and maybe a cd voucher,depends how flush we are that year.Just a little thing but it all helps.
|Indeed, teenage boys are very difficult to buy for. Any more hints?|
|Hubby and I in the past have anonymously given money to some local needy family (We do not know these people personally and that way they can enjoy the buying of needed food or gifts for their family themselves )
Now that we have just moved to a new location we won't be doing that this year but by next year we should be back on track
|A good idea, in addition to giving throughout the year to your local food bank, is to identify someone of significant need but lack public resources ( ask the person at the food bank if you do not know of someone yourself, a school counselor can be of help ). A gift certificate to the local grocery store as well a gift card to a toy store for the children is a great gift. They are able to purchase the foods that have been their custom for the holidays and are able to purchase the toys that their children have been asking Santa for. For a larger family you could involve your entire family.
This can be done person to person, or by slipping a card with the gift cards under the door anonymously. A nice message included with the card.
I prefer to do it anonymously.
|Don't forget the "OUT REACH" programs at you local churches. Many people are going to be without electricity or heat without help from these orginazations.|
|sorry, no pixs of my craftwork for the giving tree project. My camera and computer just won't talk to one another anymore. Even trying to reinstall drivers, etc gives me "incompatible" messages. Grrrr. Is this why people get new computers and cameras every few years? I hate it.|
|OK, I just received the list of kids and families we'll be helping and their "wish list." It's always so interesting to see what they want or need. I love when I find items such as clothing, games, books....things that we "think" they want. Of course they want the Xbox, computer stuff, which we don't give. Then we have requests that I don't understand and have to go thru children's game/toy web sites to figure out such as "Yugiroh cards" ????
The best I've found so far are:
Boy age 14 weight 256, shirt size large (aint no way)
Wants: America's Next Top Model dvd, books on fashion design
OK, he's into design. His sister:
Girl, age 12, 5'1" weight 128
Wants boxing gloves! (note: "Don't like Barbies or girly things)
|Last year, my co-worker's mom's company sponsored a family that consisted of a dad and his 12 year old daughter. The list was ridiculous. The daughter asked for an iPod, a plasma TV, a PS3 and a few other BIG ticket items. The dad's list was nearly identical except he also asked for cash to pay for all of his speeding tickets.
Needless to day, not all their Christmas wishes came true.
|Our school sponsors families through Sub for Santa. Students donate money and then the student body officers go shopping, wrap, and get it all ready. I've always held contests with my students to see which class can raise the most money. Last year we hit $1100 between five classes of 14-15 year olds!! IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I read the little book Christmas Jars by Jason Wright to them and then we have our own "Christmas Jar." It started today, we're frantically reading the book, getting in the spirit! LET THE MONEY START ROLLING IN!!!
Last year, I gave my mother-in-law an autographed copy of the Christmas Jars and a jar (along with all my kids, mom and sister). I also gave them jars to collect the money. My mother-in-law ended up buying jars for each of her kids (six of them) and encouraged all of us to collect throughout the year instead of buying gifts for each others' families. We gather the money tomorrow...in all there are about 40 of us that will be pooling the money together. I can't wait to see the totals!!
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