Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sub for Santa Collaboration

Years ago when my kids were young, I found holiday satisfaction by placing "Giving Trees" in a couple of retail stores to gather holiday gifts for children in state custody--before becoming foster kids. We did pretty well, with the ornament tags requesting specifics for the different age groups in the county children's shelter, temporary shelter homes, and group homes for Christmas. I think the most heart-wrenching story I ever heard was the little 9-year old boy whose father was in jail and who did not know it was his birthday when we visited him with an extra-special gift.

I wanted to participate in a Giving Tree experience this year, but finances were tight. Even so, I scooped a group of five tags from the tree at church one Sunday with the goal of filling the wishes for a family with such simple requests: dress shirts, blouses, warm jacket, shoes, and movie tickets. All the tags were for one Spanish-speaking family within the local church membership called a Stake. Expecting more elaborate requests, I was humbled by the little stack of cards but sad that I really didn't have the resources this year to do it all myself. Though I may be short on funds at times, I'm never afraid to ask people to support a cause! This became my Giving Tree technique for 2015. Spread around the opportunity to family and friends. I sent out the list to all of my family and extended family members, spoke with my horseback riding friend and to her friend visiting from LA.

In the end, I was able to pool the resources of eight people: myself, Mom, three daughters, and three friends to get all the gifts for this sweet family. Another family member, niece Caroline, helped to wrap them up in style. This Sub for Santa opportunity will undoubtedly stay with me for years because it took more effort to bring everyone together than if I had gone out to purchase gifts with my own funds. As Caroline and I wrapped the clothing and movie tickets in early December, I felt the warm satisfaction of having pulled of a little miracle. With present circumstances, I definitely took more cards from the Giving Tree than I should have. But, I was able to facilitate a little miracle for the family who received our gifts. Next time, even if I can supply the gifts on my own I will opt for this collaborative method---there's more joy when working on a common goal with family and friends.

Thank you and Merry Christmas to my Sub for Santa (aka: Giving Tree) collaborators! 
Cash from: Mom, Sheridan, Meredith, and Grace and Belinda. 
Movie Tickets from: Linda. Appreciation to:Caroline for help with wrapping. 
Happy Christmas to all, 
can't wait to do another one next year.

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