12 Days of Giving

From 1/01/11  

Well, I fell short on the 12th day (Christmas). I was hosting for my family and was just exhausted afterwards. So I donated toys to Goodwill and am posting the girls old bikes for free on Craigslist if that counts for anything. I thought I would tell you why I decided to do this and why I put it on FB (Marsha, that is an abbreviation for Facebook). This will be long, so I apologize now and you have fair warning to stop reading.

As many of you know I got divorced this year. It has been a challenge for the girls and I, but we are actually doing very well due to a great family and friends. This Fall we went to a class at Irving Bible Church called One Parent + Kids(OPK). The girls went to a class for their age group and I met with adults. The leaders, Dayna and Michael Phillips were fantastic and helped tremendously—I recommend it if you are ever faced with this(God forbid). At the end of the class, we were all given various gifts and each of us got a Thanksgiving Basket donated by the church. The basket comes with all ingredients for the Thanksgiving Dinner, except the turkey. Now my daughters and I are, not by any stretch of the imagination, lacking for food, so it made me feel a bit odd accepting it. On the way home that night I was racking my brain trying to figure out how I could give to others as OPK did for us. I came up with the 12 Days of Giving. I ran it by the girls and they loved the idea. Little did the senders of the basket know what they had started…

Now I am sure that someone, somewhere has thought of this previously, but it was new to us. I ran into a good friend at Target today and she asked me to repost everything I did, so here goes:

1) Bought coffee for a young girl ahead of us in line at Starbucks

2) Toys R Us gift card for the school janitor/crossing guard/kid greeter who is raising his grandkids. He always has a smiling.

3) Diapers were given to a family we found at a restaurant. Hoping the baby was the right size : )

4) Lunch gift card for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer

5) Remembering my Malawian brother and his family.

6) Cookies for the Bedford Police and Fire Department

7) Goodies for the next door neighbors delivered by 3 little elves.

8) The girls volunteered at the animal shelter with their sweet cousin, Courtney.

9) American Heart Association donation for my Pa!

10) Unicef—anti-malarial drugs for 30+ children

11) Toys for Tots donation

12) Donation to Goodwill

The reason I decided to post our giving was to inspire others and hopefully take the focus off the stress the season and place it on the purpose. One thing I have learned this year is to start talking to others. This a quite a feat for someone as painfully shy as I am. I was there to lend an ear and give support to the man at Ikea whose wife left him after 37 years and it’s his first Christmas alone and for the single mom who went into work at 3 am at Old Navy to earn extra money for her kids.The point, we all have sorrows and are never alone. We are all in this thing called life together, so we might as well help each other out along the way.

The take home message for me is that it is so easy to give. Give time, give talents, give money, give a hug, give an ear, give a smile, give forgiveness (even to yourself). It just takes intention.

I was surprised by the feedback I have gotten on FB and in person from this. As a result I started a FB group called the Giving Tree, named after one of my favorite children’s books. If you are interested, drop by and add a story of how you gave, how someone helped you or ideas for giving.

Peace, Love and Blessings, Angie 

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