Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Spirit of Giving

Yesterday, two of Crafty Papa's friends from an off road message board he frequents, drove 3 1/2 hours up to the coast to make a special delivery to another member of their forum whose family has fallen on rough times. The father of three suddenly lost his high paying job about 6 months ago due a serious, undiagnosed illness and the small off road message board had raised $250 to donate to the family.

While Crafty Papa was gone, I was thinking about the tight budget we live on. We have to budget very carefully and unfortunately, never have a penny left over at the end of the month. We pass up extras and are constantly talking about new sacrifices we can make so that I can continue to stay home with the girls. I was starting to question whether we really could afford to donate to this man and his family and then Crafty Papa came home and told me they had gone out and bought him a Christmas tree. The family didn't have one because they couldn't afford it. Three little kids who had to go without one of the biggest Christmas traditions because they didn't have the extra money. That quickly put things into perspective for me.

So, in the spirit of giving, I'm going to send a free bag to one of my blog readers. Just leave a comment on this post sharing a good deed that you/your family has done this holiday season and I'll randomly pick a winner. It doesn't have to be anything huge, maybe even just volunteering to watch a friend's kids so she can shop or bake or shoveling snow out of a neighbor's drive way (I hear you have to do that kind of thing when you don't live on the coast:) ). Winner will be chosen on Wednesday morning.


Marie said...

My friend who is the same age as me was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer and just had it removed the day before Thanksgiving. We live just 2 minutes away from each other and she has an 8 month old son that I just adore. During all of this, I got slammed with a ton of custom orders from repeat customers that I really needed to pay for Christmas gifts for our kids, but my friend needed our help to watch her son so her husband could be in the hospital with her. It really put things into perspective for me. I sacrificed taking several of those orders because I wanted to be a good friend and be there and available whenever she needed during such a rough time in her life. It made me think about what was more important. Sometimes we get so consumed with what's going on in our own little world and think the petty stuff is so important when other people deal with life and death issues and I sit here worrying about finishing orders. It makes me feel so dumb sometimes, but I think it's a great reminder to us all that our days are numbered and it's better to use it serving others and helping when we can because God loves us so much. Anyways, thanks for sharing that to remind me of people like that this holiday season who can't enjoy the little luxuries that we take advantage of such as a Christmas tree and having a job whether we like it or not.

Leingang Crew said...

WoW. that story of Craft Papa really touched much so that it has stuck in my head since I read it the other day. I didnt really have any good stories like that to share...besides leaving a nice tip since its the holiday season and giving the closer parking spot to someone else/elder...until last night. We were at walmart and this young mother (had to be like 23-24) with 3 kids...none of which were really clean or wearing appropriate clothing for the weather was in front of me in line. One of the kids brought up a barbie that she had found and her mom yelled at her and said "You KNOW we can't get that right now. Maybe in a couple weeks." I had 2 $20's in my pocket so I could go to my LSS on I "dropped them" on the floor and said "Ma' dropped this" and she looked at me and I could tell she wanted to cry but she held back. I wish I could do that with every family that is down on their luck...I've been there...I know how it feels to not have a Christmas and I just really hate seeing young kids going through that. Why can't everyone be rich?! lol.

Andrea said...

What a tremendously sweet story Kelci!! Crafty papa sure is everything you say he is :)

This makes me think of all those times I pass up people with their hand out on the corner by my work, especially during this holiday season, and always that Phil Collins song comes to mind.

My brother works at a freight place. And every year they give them Christmas trees. They are beautiful, BIG, voluptious trees. I so wish we could put em up in our house. But first, we have nowhere to put it, and second, I'm kinda allergic to the pine. So my neighbors really are going through a difficult time. 5 kids, SAHM, husband having an affair, but she stays with him cause she doesn't know anything else, and well, he doesn't provide crap to them, except the very basic essentials. We gave them our Christmas tree. The kids were especially appreciative.

On Thanksgiving, said neighbor's washer & dryer were out, their oven didn't work. A neighbor gave them a turkey and she asked us if we had a toaster oven or something they could borrow to cook it in. I told her she could come over and cook her turkey in our oven. She said, they weren't going to have Thanksgiving, if it wasn't for someone giving them a turkey, and someone letting them cook it. I also gave her some potatoes, gravy, green beans I had, with the excuse that we were going to SIL, and that she had bought them already. She looked at me, like, are you sure??? And I said on yeah, take em please, they're gonna go bad here, we won't use them.

Later I went to the store to buy the stuff to cook at home.

Lima Bean said...

What a fun idea! And compliments to your husband and your family for reminding us that it is really better for us to give than receive. We are also on a tight budget, but have learned that when we give we are always blessed to have whatever we need.

We anonymously adopted a family in our church who have two little boys and are not able to afford Christmas. We are getting some toys and shoes for the kids and a gift card for the mother (she is going through a divorce) so she can buy the things she needs for herself. It has been fun to have my two boys involved in the process so they can also learn the importance of giving to those less fortunate.

Jan said...

My sister works with families with children with disabilities and had to choose one family to receive help from donations they had taken at her work. She mentioned it was hard to decide because there were 2 or 3 families that really needed help. I told her we would send her money to help a 2nd family so she wouldn't have to make such a difficult choice. We used to live
on one income and I stayed home with our girls, so we really remember the leaner days of yesteryear.

QuirkyDolls said...

I repainted my neighbors outdoor wood nativity display. WHat a job but I love to paint. They were very faded from the sun, but not anymore!:)