This morning, in church, I heard of a lady who had no child care and had to take her kids to work with her. It touched my heart, and I was wishing that someone actually knew her name....she is the exact person who Holiday Hope is looking to help.
Last year, an unemployed man asked us to help by just giving him "one gift for each child". He had 8 children, and was recently unemployed. He said that for the "one gift", he would do work for us, if we needed anything done at home. He wanted to work for the gifts. He also told me that they could not afford oil for their house, however, a neighbor had offered him a wood stove, so he was doing some work for that neighbor also. As I emailed his wife trying to find out some information about the children, I found out that he was doing odd jobs for people every chance he could. This man didn't want to ask for help - but he loves his children, and he didn't want them to be disapointed. We bought gifts for his whole family - we filled the back of his van!!!
A very special person I want to tell you about is a lady who didn't want anything for herself, but she didn't want her teenage girls to go without a Christmas. I began talking to her to get information on the girls, so we could buy gifts. This lady really teaches her children to give to others - that's why is was SO hard for her to be on the receiving end. When we had our gift wrapping party a few weeks before Christmas.....guess who came to help wrap? This same lady and her girls! Since then, we have become very good friends, and her girls are actually helping Holiday Hope this year....and some of their friends, too. This lady, who taught her girls to help others....even when she had to ask for help herself, still "gave back" by coming and wrapping gifts for others.
There are other stories, but these are just a few that touch my heart. Sometimes people ask why I do this, and really the answer should be "why not?" People are suffering today, and many of them through no fault of their own - unemployment, family illness, and many other reasons, but many of us have been there. I was a single mom for 8 1/2 years, and yes, I struggled...but now I am stronger and very thankful for what I have...and also proud that I made it through. Hardships do make us stronger in the end, but when you are in the middle of it, sometimes a person feels helpless. If we can help some "hardships" to not be quite as hard, it's all worth it.