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A Very Special #14

December 16, 2010

In week 24, I am inspired, once again, by Jenny The Bloggess, previously mentioned here. This time, she is inspiring me with the true meanings of Christmas: compassion and generosity. And what I read in the end made me so happy, I think it fills up all five of my “grateful for” slots this week.

We are all adults who (presumably) watch or read the news every once in awhile. We know there are people out there who have less than us, who can’t afford to give their families the basic necessities, much less Christmas presents. But rarely has it hit home for me in so personal a way as it did reading the comments left on this post by The Bloggess. In light of her good circumstances, she offered to give away $30 Amazon gift cards to the first 20 people who needed it who commented on her post. No questions asked, nothing to prove, real name not necessary. $600 to absolute strangers. Here are a few of the comments, in case you’re not the click-over type:

“We could really use the help this year. My husband was killed by a drunk driver in July and since he was the primary income earner things have been very tough. I have twin girls that are 5 years old and this is just the worst time of year to be poor and to be missing the love of your life at the same time. I wish I could just crawl in bed and sleep through Christmas but my girls deserve more. Thank you for all you do Jenny. You are an amazingly beautiful person.”

“I never thought I’d be in a position to not be able to buy my son something for Christmas. Unfortunately, here we are, with my husband looking for steady work, my salary frozen, and a voicemail box that’s filled to the brim with messages from bill collectors. So, I’m making as many things as I can for him, and I’m considering wrapping up some toys he’s forgotten about and re-giving them to him. I’ve contemplated asking friends for a used bike his size but I haven’t done so yet. We’ve already saved up a few hand-me-downs and fortunately I’m creative and can come up with a lot of novel project-like things out of scrounged materials, but still. This sucks. Whether I am one of the lucky recipients or not, you’re amazing for doing this. And if you know of anyone who needs some artists, give me a holler.”

“I’m not in need either but my brother and his family are. He’s been out of work for two years. He has a daughter that has major medical issues and a wife that’s been having some medical issues and is unable to care for the kids. So he’s been taking care of her and the girls. There’s no money coming in and there is no money for Christmas gifts let alone any to pay bills by gas or pay for dr’s visits. I’d give them the card. They so deserve it.”

Reading these and the many, many more over there broke my heart. And as I kept reading, I saw a remarkable thing. People were chiming in to offer up the 21st gift card. And the 22nd. She got so many offers to help that she ended up with more gift cards than recipients! So other bloggers joined in, finding more people in need to match up with those who wanted to give. It was like It’s A Wonderful Life, but real.

Needless to say, the bf and I are no millionaires, but we certainly have what we need and are able to have a wonderful Christmas plus more. So we are taking that plus more and joining the fray over at The Bloggess (we’ll be matched up with a person today!) and we are also going to go pick out a bunch of fabulous toys to donate to Toys for Tots this weekend. Giving back a little of what we have been so blessed with — that is what Christmas is really about. Please, do the same!

If you know someone in need, or if you want to donate a gift card of any amount to someone who needs a little extra this Christmas, please go to The Bloggess and leave her a comment or an email. Or donate to Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Family Giving Tree, or the many other charitable organizations available. It will warm your heart!

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