On a Saturday afternoon, trucks, volunteers and gifts were wrapped and loaded, ready to be delivered to unknowing families in our surrounding communities. My husband, son and I knocked on doors where we were greeted by families that were very appreciative and humbled by our gifts. Many repeated “Thank you” over and over again. People would stop us and say, “This is the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for your kindness.”
We delivered for hours into the night. Words cannot express the gratitude I felt handing that present to a small child. The excitement was contagious. Some older children even got dressed and joined us as we walked the streets. It was truly a moving experience. Probably the most rewarding that I have done in a long time.
Project Happy was a success.
You would have never known that a week ago, I, myself, was at the United Fund asking for those same gifts for my family this Christmas. A family hardship left me overwhelmed and fearful.
As I sat down and spoke with Linda (Bersche), she simply said, “What can I do to help?” Linda, I have come to find has served this area for 35 years. With a whole heart, she visited with me, allowed me to cry and hugged me. After great efforts from the United Fund, Linda and the bridging community brought Christmas to my family. But more importantly, the lesson that came with it.
United Fund was a success.
You see, acts of kindness, giving, using your resources can only strengthen our community and bring greater success to all. I tried to think of how I could possibly give back to her or an organization that helped me in so many ways and then it occurred to me — if I could let citizens, families, members of the community know the impact they have had and that we are all working toward one goal. These people and these organizations are not just bridging a gap, they are transforming lives. From poverty to possible, homeless to humbled, starving to satisfied and those lost into leaders.
And then, not only letting the community know of the difference they are making, but it doesn’t just have to happen once a year. Christmas isn’t the only time we need toiletries, money, clean clothes, or a good friend. Every day there should be a conscience decision to be kind and give. Like for the person who left their quarter in the Aldi’s shopping cart, the military recruiter that bought me my coffee, or the family that adopted mine for Christmas...
My 12-year-old son said, “Can you imagine if everyone gave like this all the time?”
I simply replied, “Yes, yes I can.”
A planted seed was a success.