I think we all can probably say that we have a lot to be thankful for in our lives. We have a roof over our head, food in our stomachs and we’re all doing ok. However, not everyone out there is in the same situation. I had a humbling experience recently and I debated on whether or not to share it on the blog, but I decided I would. It touched me and I hope that it touches you as well. Sometime we all need a reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for.
My Father In Law recently talked about his Church doing something special for families that were in need around the Holidays. We said we’d love to help and I kind of forgot about it. Well, we got the family we are going to sponsor. It was emailed to us and contained maybe five sheets of information. The family we got is a local family from Atlanta. It’s a twenty nine year old single mother, with three children who are three, ten and twelve. The list contained needs and wishes and a little bit of background information on each of the family members. I don’t know what I expected to be on the lists, but what I read wasn’t what I was expecting. For the sake of confidentiality, I won’t show the exact lists, but I want to take a minute to talk about them. I was actually shocked that the information had the mother’s full name and information on the list. Normally, it’s all completely anonymous when I’ve done something like this before.
This really hits home for me because I was raised by a single mother, who had three children. When I was growing up, we were probably in the same situation as this mother is now. I’m pretty sure that Christmas was a very hard time for my mom who struggled as it was. As kids, we didn’t know any better and weren’t always truly aware of our situation. We just knew it was Christmas and we wanted gifts like most children did. Now that I’m older and I realize what my mom went through, I think back on my memories of Christmas and it tugs at my heart a bit.
The children each have their own page of information, but here’s a look at their needs.
- Underwear and Socks
- Tranning Potty
- School Supplies
Now let’s look at some of their wishes:
- Label Maker
- Train Set
- Fake Nails (I did laugh at this one because I can hook her up!!)
The Mother’s needs:
- Towels and Rags
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Cooking Pots and Dishes
- Tennis Shoes
- Drinking Glasses
Reading the lists makes me cry every single time. Not that I feel sorry for them, but it instead reminds me of how lucky I am. How lucky my nieces and nephews are. They don’t have to worry about not having school supplies or shoes to wear. When I read the wishes of the mother I lost it. Drinking Glasses, Boots, Purse and a Watch. That killed me. It is no exaggeration to say that I have two cabinets full of drinking glasses and let’s not even begin to talk about the purses and watches that I own. Yet, somehow I still find that I need more….
Getting this family and reading that list was a humbling experience for me. It reminded of how my mom probably struggled like this mother did and I can’t imagine as a parent, having to worry about not being able to buy gifts for your children or be able to afford the things that they would need. I think this taught me that even though I do give to charities and I donate here and there, I can still do more. I want to do more.
I have been shopping and getting the gifts ready for the family. I wish I could see their faces when they open up everything that we’re getting for them. The information that we were provided also talked about their hobbies and favorite sports and things like that, so we’re trying to make sure we do lots of extras for the children. I want that family to be able to have a great Christmas. To not have the daily stresses that they might normally have. I want the mother to be able to see her children opening gifts and be able to spend time together, like a normal family would. It’s not about the presents and the material things, but it’s more about allowing that family to create memories to be able to look back on. I’m glad that we can help be a part of that, even if they don’t know who we are.
I hope that you will take the time to participate in something like this as well. There are plenty of organizations and families out there who need your help. If you’d like to donate to the family I’m sponsoring, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll have you make a donation via Pay Pal and I’ll make sure to put that money to good use for this family.