Sunday, December 14, 2008

GIVE! It Feels GOOD Dammit!

The first Christmas after my ex and I separated really SUCKED!

I had been laid off from my job earlier that year, and it just so happened I asked for the separation the same month my employment insurance ran out.

Not smart Kim, NOT smart!

I had been receiving calls from my old employer, saying they wanted to bring me back on a new project, but it wasn't ready to start until Jan.

That meant no income whatsoever from Aug- Jan.

Yeah, Christmas was NOT great that year.

If it wasn't for the help of many angels, the boys would have had alot less than what they did. As it turned out, they never noticed anything different that year, with respect to 'how much' was under the tree, than any other year.

I knew the difference. I knew what had come from me, the very little I could afford, and what had come from others.

I knew, and I never forgot.

That January, I went back to work on the promised project, and never looked back. But never forgot the help of all those angels when I needed it.

Now it's Christmas time again, and yesterday I went shopping.

I shopped for about 10hrs. I shopped. Then I dropped!

However, I wasn't only shopping for my own brood, extended family, teachers and friends.

I was shopping for a second family also.

Last year, for the first time, our project team adopted a family in need for Christmas.

This year, the lady who had previously organized the event, was no longer with the company, so by the time mid-November had rolled around, and there was no mention of a 'Holiday Family' yet, I got off my butt and got things organized!

I contacted Feed Nova Scotia and they matched us up with a family in need.

A single mom with four kids. Three girls (10, 5 & 2) and a boy(9).

We got a list of wants and needs, which I distributed, so some people brought in presents, some grocery gift cards, some donated cash.

People brought in things that weren't even ON the list.

For four weeks, I sent out a 'Weekly Update' email with a spreadsheet of the wants and needs, showing everything we had picked up so far, and what we had left to get.

I also sent a weekly update of the funds raised to date.

Our presents are to be boxed up and delivered this coming Wednesday, the 17th.

So, yesterday, I took all the cash that was raised, and went shopping for the things that were still missing on our list.

Over and above the individual presents that were brought into the office, and over and above the $260 in grocery gift cards that were given, our team raised $300!!!

And it was a FUN day shopping, because I could shop for 3 GIRLS! I never get to shop for girls ;-) Pink, pink everywhere!!!

I'm very proud of my team members. They have HUGE hearts! :-) And none of this would have been possible without all of them!

In talking to a few people around the office, I've come to the conclusion that an event like this really hits home for those of us who have 'been there' in one form or another. And believe me, there are even more than we know who have.

I know for me, I don't ever want another mom to feel like *I* did that one year.

Helpless, hopeless and lost.

It's not a nice feeling, and so something like this is important to me.

I'm still a single mom, and I'm still the only one financially responsible for raising my kids. I worry about being in the 'two paychecks from homeless-ness' generation, and know that the hands of fate could rip everything out from under me in a heartbeat.

I don't have alot of money, I live pretty much paycheck to paycheck, but I gave.

I gave my time, and my money, and sore feet from shopping ... and pieces of my heart to those kids and mom, and dammit, if feels GREAT!

If you get the opportunity, over the next week or so, before that big day finally arrives .... try it ... GIVE! It Feels GOOD Dammit!

And I guarantee ... you'll be glad you did!



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