I normally pretty uncomfortable talking about charity/donating, maybe because part of my belief. It said that “when you give with your right hands, hide your left hand.” Basically saying that we should never brag about giving. I wanted to share my experience this year though, because to me, this time it give me somewhat different feeling.
As a tradition, we adopt a family for Christmas. I don’t celebrate Christmas religiously, but I share the giving spirit of the season and looking forward for it each year. Normally we get a list of the family – how many are they, their wish list etc… and I normally get family with small children. This year when I receive the family information I got scared. The family that was assigned to me is a set of grandparents with 3 teenagers. I have never shop for teenagers before! Even though I claim to be 21 yrs old, but let’s face it – who am I kidding here.
On top of that, this family hardly wrote anything on their wish list. I have to guess! I contacted the coordinator and ask if she can help me gather more information about this family. This is the part that bring me teary eyes….
It’s the grandparents raising three of their granddaughters. The parents pass away tragically long time ago. This is the first time they sign up for any help therefore they feel awkward and embarrassed to write down any wish list, they think any helps is big enough helps. The coordinator finally able to get some wish list for me and what breaks my hearts more when I hear all the grandpa wants is some type of new clothes for him and his family. That’s all he wants. He haven’t buy/wear new clothes in years. The youngest child is 10 yrs old. She only wanted new baby doll clothes for her baby doll. The grandma only want some grocery store gift card to provide holiday meal and the other two teenagers only want Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood CD.
Their story and their humble wish list really touches me more. Especially when I hear how they were all very grateful and how the grandpa was crying when he ask for new clothes. For real hard working people, it takes a lot out of you to ask for help. I can sense that from this family. They have been raising their grandchildren and manage to do so all this time by themselves. This is the first time they asked for help. The hard economic situation hits them just like it hits everybody.
It encourage me to do more. I share their story with my boss and colleagues and donations and help start pouring in. With all that helps, I manage fulfill their humble wish list and more and also help other family too – all within budget!
As we all know, these are trying times. The economy is still struggling and there are many families that need our help. I’m happy that I can help a little and help spread the words to others to reach to the community so we can provide more gifts and meals to families that cannot afford to fully enjoy the holidays.
I’d like to share few words from one of the family that was help by this program.
“I am the aunt of a family you helped this season and I was so touched I wanted to thank you as well. My sister is a wonderful mom. Everything she does is for her kids. I know it is hard for her raising all three children by herself, but she does it any way, every day all year. I also know the state of the economy has everyone cutting corners and that makes your gifts so meaningful, thank you. Really, you have made Christmas for this family.”
Let’s reach more this seasons… if you live in Denver area and wish to support this program, please contact Interfaith Community Service or of course you can choose any charity organization you wish.