When Scott and I were newly married we always made sure to donate or adopt a family for Christmas with the little extra cash we had. It was done anonymously, and I would stay anonymous, but today I have charity on my mind. We would find a gift for each child and make sure to send a gift card for food or money in an envelope. Sometimes we would do "the 12 days before Christmas" and leave things on a door step. We have even had the girls pick names of the tree at Toys R Us or Walmart and buy a gift for someone they didn't even know. It didn't matter... I loved serving others and wanted my children to find that love and think of others before themselves.
I remember one day during the holiday season seeing a young mother wrestling with several young children. Many baskets full with toys, electronics, clothing going to home to be wrapped for the holidays passed her by. In her basket, was milk, cereal, bread and some diapers. All of the sudden a man came out of no where and handed her a $50 bill. She looked surprised and immediately tried to give it back. He just nodded and said very quietly, "I've been waiting to give this to someone who deserves it." And then he ran off before she could say anything more.
I was so touched by this man. Who carries around $50 dollar bills? I didn't get to ask him- but I am certain he was holding it and waiting for the opportunity to share with someone else. I love the way he didn't say she was "in need" or "less fortunate".
Fast forward many years now. I have had many opportunities to hold my extra money and wait for someone in need. My husband is a frugal but very generous man. We still don't have a Wii... but if someone needed rent money, their car broke down or some other need- he would help in a heart beat.
OK- this sounds like a "we are sooooo awesome post" so I will get to the reason I wanted to talk about this. Lately, in the last several years, I have become less excited about helping others. It is really hard when you buy someone a car and they have a laptop. When you buy someone a ticket to go to an activity and they have already done it several times. It seems like so many cry poor, when they have more than us. We live way beneath our means and often go without because we know there may be a day when we need it. We have a good portion of our girls' college tuition's saved, because we don't want to have to get loans or grants.
I have realized that very few people in this country "need" anything. I'm not sure parents are teaching their children the difference between "needs" and "wants". I have become a bitter old lady who is weary of charity (other than a ride somewhere, watching kids or a hot meal). I know I shouldn't judge if anyone is in need.
Well, I think I have finally found my answer!! I have found many little ones who are in great need. Many of my on-line friends are adopting children with down syndrome internationally. Did you know that in many countries once a child with special needs turns four they are unadoptable and are sent to mental institutions? Some countries do nothing to help these children- including providing them with life saving surgeries. Although the baby houses are staffed with loving caretakers, many older children die alone, in cribs, with no one to love them or care for them.
If you are looking for a "good cause" or someone to help- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE visit http://www.reecesrainbow.com/ an International Down Syndrome Orphan Ministry. You can be a prayer warrior (for free) where you are matched up with a child you can pray for daily. You can give a one time donation. You can give regularly. You can sign up for iGive.com where a portion of the proceeds bought on the internet (from 700 different well known companies) goes to Reese's Rainbow. Also, in a couple of weeks they will start selling ornaments called "Christmas Angel Tree Project").
My heart and thoughts go out to these children. I wish I could provide each of them a home and proper medical care. But for now, I can pray for my little Anastasia (3/31/05) from the AT RISK PAGE. Go take a look- she reminds me sooo much of Sadie. Anastasia has stolen my heart! You can pray for her too.
Grab This Button