Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Reflection

This year more than ever, I'm overwhelmed by the spirit of giving. It seems everywhere you turn, people are pulling together to help those in need. Yesterday I was listening to the radio and heard a story about a pregnanct mother undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She's a wife, mother to three other children and working to support her family. I wept as I listened to this story, realizing how difficult life is for some this holiday season. Listeners of the radio station donating toys and money to help the mother and her family. While it won't make her sickness go away, it may help ease her pain this holiday season. Today I heard another story about a cabinet maker creating doll houses for children in their community. The business is experiencing a slow season due to the economy and in an effort to keep its workers busy, the company decided to help others.  These stories warm my heart; realizing there are good people in the world. So many times we're swept up by heavy-hearted news about the war, economy, robberies, accidents or shootings. It's a nice change to hear stories about neighbors helping neighbors -- something that'd be great to hear about all year around, not just at Christmas time.

This year, Andi and I picked three causes to support for Christmas. First, we posted a Craigslist ad in the 'jobs' section advertising a free Christmas present for a family who needs it. We realize there are parents/guardians struggling with buying gifts for their children this year so we wanted to help by providing toys and gift certificates to help.  We also have a friend of a friend who's suffering this year. Six months ago he had everything - a great job, recently engaged and just purchased a house. Two months ago, he lost his job and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with brain cancer. Andi and I decided to send him an anonymous donation to help with bills, etc. Lastly, we decided to make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House. I volunteered there earlier this year and was really moved by all the children staying there who, despite their failing health, were upbeat and loving. Hopefully our donation(s) will help those less fortunate this year.

It's all these things that make me realize how fortunate I am. While others struggled through this year, I was lucky enough to have a good job, live in a great home and to have married my best friend. Here's hoping for a happy and healthy 2010.

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