Givin’ Feels Good

When we decided to join Greg’s work team in helping a family out with their Christmas this year, we wanted to involve the kids as much as possible with the entire process. We received the wish list for the girl we were buying for, took the kids to multiple stores to purchase what she wanted together as a family. Not only did we want to help make a child and family’s Christmas better, but wanted to teach our children about what I feel is the “true” meaning of Christmas… love and charity. They were really excited to buy for this girl that they didn’t know and took it very seriously.

Tonight as I loaded the car with the kids so that we could deliver the gifts, I wondered what type of reaction would we get. Would they be happy to see us? Would they be embarrassed? Would they seem grateful, or would an act of charity make them feel uncomfortable? I know from personal experience that asking for help, and then accepting that help, can be difficult.

When we drove into the KOA campground, I envisioned what life might be like living in a trailer. Let’s just say that it’s never been a dream of mine.

Everyone was a little nervous as we unloaded the car and loaded everyone’s arms with the presents. We had talked to the kids beforehand about not saying anything about the family’s living conditions, and just told them to wish them a Merry Christmas.

When we knocked, they opened the door and welcomed us into their home. While the son and daughter made themselves scarce when we came in, we were able to visit for a few minutes with the mom, her dad, and her brother/boyfriend/husband? We checked out the cool artwork and wood/walking stick carving that the unknown status man had made, and he explained that creating these intricate and very cool sticks was his livelihood.

The mother was so appreciative, and let all of us know that without us, her children would not have had a Christmas this year. She handed us a thank you card, and apologized for not having an envelope for it. They walked us outside, shook Greg’s hand, and then the mom grabbed me and gave me a hug. At that moment, I felt nothing but love for this woman and her family. As a mother myself, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to not be able to provide for my kids the way that I want.

As we drove away, we talked to the kids about the experience. I think that it was really good for them to see how little some people have and to feel the “warm fuzzies” that accompany giving. I can only hope that when our kids have to clean up what feels like an endless supply of toys that seem to continually clutter their rooms, they will know that they are truly blessed.

I have no idea about how that family ended up where they are. Maybe that had a home, and lost it because of this crap economy. Maybe they have always had to struggle. But I hope that we were able to alleviate at least a little of their burdens, and that these kids will have the type of holiday that every kid deserves.

This family touched my life, and as service almost always does, I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to do it. I’m happy that my kids were able to experience what is likely their first real act of charity, and that they will remember to help those less fortunate than we are.

 

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One Comment on “Givin’ Feels Good”

  1. matt Says:

    You and your family are just a bunch of do gooders, and I like that.


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