Wednesday, December 12, 2007

busy time of year

time is getting away from me a bit. I need to get out and get some shopping done for my crew. Right now I am wrapped up in our local Christmas is for Kids program. Its a great program, I got involved when Kristin was in first grade! (She is in college now) The 1st grade teacher works on little fundraisers throughout the year with her class, then they count their money and they ALL go shopping at walmart. Imagine 20 first graders hopping off a bus in their Santa hats, grabbing carst, and storming the aisles, Christmas lists in hand...for OTHER kids. It is an awesome thing to see. usually, the news comes and some lucky kid gets to be interviewed, its a lot of fun.
This year, we have more families. It is cold here, lots of snow, and oil prices skyrocketing. LOTS of needs.
I mentioned the other day about the little girls that just wanted to be warm? Sometimes you just gotta go on faith. That afternoon, I met with other folks who are helping with this program, and started to hammer out details. We discovered that one of the kids was using bread bags on her 2007!! (I used breadbags, and man, we were POOR. I hate that this is still happening today with so much waste around us.) Anyway, little one with breadbags and sneakers, something had to be done. One of our folks was just so upset at this, she was in tears telling us about it. I had taken $200 dollars out of our Buddy Walk proceeds (first time we have EVER had a profit!) and intended to buy for several of our kids. I handed that woman 60 bucks, and told her to find boots for the three sisters. Anyone with kids knows 60 bucks might not go far, but it was all we had. Well....funny how things work out.
I left that meeting with $140 dollars remaining, and 3 children to buy for. I had some idea what I was after: PS 2 games, some Diego stuff, and some leapster cartridges. I stopped at a local Olympia Sports store, they were going out of business, they had winter coats, and I wanted to see how cheap they were. NICE coats, but even on clearance they were 69 bucks a piece. Columbia jackets, warm, perfect, soft pinks and pruples. But...210 plus tax I didnt have. I left there feeling kinda down, asked the store manager, who knows me because we shop there a LOT for my son Jesse, if he would keep an eye out for a dropmin price and call me. He said yes. I was walking into walmart wondering how I could squeak out 3 winter coats for the girls, on top of the toys. I bought the toys, then went to look at coats. They were decent enough, but this is MAINE, it gets cold here. The coats werent well made, somewhat light and flimsy. I imagined them standing at the bus stop in the biting wind, and just knew it wouldnt work. I paid for the toys with the $140 dollars. I had exactly 5 dollars and six cents left.

Then I ran into a friend. His name is Ned, and he owns the equipment rental place that we get all our Buddy Walk stuff from. NICE guy. we stood talking Patriots for a bit, sharing pleasantries. he asked me what I was doing out. I told him about the girls. And without a word, he handed me a one hundred dollar bill.
I dont know about you all, (all? I slay me) but I kinda believe in angels, and maybe even in "Santa". I think, at the very least, this time of year makes us better people, kinder people. I swear I saw an angel standing there that night. With a hug and a "Go, Patriots!" he was gone. And my mind was off, thinking COATS! Imagine that, though? he just trusted my word that this was a good cause, and handed me 100 of his very hard earned dollars? That is faith. And that is love.
I hurried back to Olympia Sports and asked exactly HOW well they could do for me if I bought three girls coats. The Manager smiled at me and went off to grab the coats, not cheapy little gonna-fall-apart-fast coats, either. He grabbed Columbia brand coats. Three of them. 2 that would fit the twins, and one for their big sister. I stood waiting while he thought. Remember, this guy had NO idea I had that hundred dollars, nor the money remaining from the toys. He looked up at me and said "For you, $105.60" One hundred dollars? Check. (Thanks Ned) Five dollars and 60 cents? Check...oops...I had five dollars and SIX cents left....I had to run to my car and scavenge 54 cents. But I did. And I came home with three coats. Two hundred ten dollars plus tax worth of coats.

I believe...

PS I was given another family last night. Sometimes it seems unreal, the things you hear when you do this kinda thing. This story fits that bill.

~Dad hurt his back so bad he got laid off.
That was Monday of last week.
~On Tuesday, dad rolled his car in a vicious snowstorm. Totalled.
~On Wed, his 8 yr old son clibed to the top of the icy bleachers and thought he would jump off. Instead, he fell and broke his femur (oww) Surgery followed.

These folks have 5 little boys, including a severely developmentally disabled young man. They didnt ask for help, but someone thought they might need it. I stopped by their house this morning to say "hey, we know how hard this has been, what can we do to help?" I got mom to agree to let us do something for the kids. I heard later that their pastor called them to ask how they were, were told that someone had stopped by, and they were very thankful, and in tears relating the story. Thats an awesome feeling. Imagine the worries they have this time of year? Imagine that it is FIRST GRADERS who will make this happen? First graders, 6-7 yr olds. AWESOME. The lessons they have learned!! Every now and then, someone tells me thank you. Im just the messenger. Thank the KIDS!!


C. R. Morris said...

With all the heart warming movies on Hallmark and Lifetime, this just beats them all! I love this! Way to go kids!!! And it got me to thinking, I sell Mineral Girlz make up and I wonder if I could figure out a program to get donations so that I could hand out bags of make up to teens/tweens next Christmas? Wouldn't that be fun?

Shannon **Gabi's Mom** said...

What an awesome message it sends to those 1st graders! I bet it makes a big difference in their hearts!

Megan's got 47 said...

Faith. Hope. Love.
This time of year is full of it!
You are an angel too for caring Michelle!
Happy Holidays!