THIS IS THE DAY!!!!! THIS IS THE DAY!!!!
This is the day when people all over the world log on to their computers (energy portals) and release senseless, lavish, radical love into the world by meeting the holiday needs of total strangers.
We participate in Holiday Hands to be good. We participate to help others. We participate to change another family’s life. And then somewhere during the process we realize that the family that was changed by this offering of love was our own family. Because when we act out what we want to believe- when we not only SAY LOVE WINS but we DO LOVE WINS . . . when we not only BELIEVE THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER but WE MAKE THAT SO . . . WE BECOME THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.
We do that TODAY!!! Today we stop wishing for a kinder, better, more magical world and start creating one. The way we do that is to tap a stranger on the shoulder and say – Hey, friend. I’d rather my kids get three holiday gifts and your kids get three holiday gifts, than my kids get six gifts and your kids get no gifts. We let our families watch us do this. We show our children the families we’re helping.
And then we can show our family — not just tell them – what love is. We can show them what grace is. Grace is undeserved love. And so sometimes the best way to PUT GRACE INTO MOTION, TO MAKE IT COME TO LIFE, is to love strangers. Strangers who haven’t earned our love and never will.
Because that quote we all love is TRUE: “Character is how you treat those who can never repay you.”
Participate today in Holiday Hands- make the leap from HOPING grace is true to MAKING it true. BE THE CHANGE you want to see in the world. And then show your family WHAT you did and WHY. Tell them all about grace, and how it interrupts the normal order of things and then makes everything beautiful.
We know that everyone–our givers, our listers, and our miracle watchers–are eager to get started with the Holiday Hands matches. Before you begin, please, please read all of the information below.
Directions for Givers:
To see available listings:
- Go to the Holiday Hands section of the Together Rising website.
- Click on the box marked “Available” and a list of available listings will be displayed.
- Once you have found an available listing that you would like to sponsor, please scroll down to the bottom of the page to the comment section to find out if the need has already been met. We will be moving listings from the Available to the Taken category once the needs have been met, but there may be some lag time between when we can make the updates. If the comments on the listing indicate that the need has already been met, please try to partner with another lister.
To respond to a listing:
- First, add a comment at the bottom of the listing stating which of the requested needs you would like to meet. For example, please indicate whether you are going to satisfy all the needs listed (up to $100), or whether you are going to fund a portion of request (for example, “I can provide the train your youngest wants” or “I can provide $30 toward your needs”).
- Click on the Contact link at the top of the listing to send an email directly to the author of the listing. Let her know which portion of the listing you would like to meet and ask her to respond to you with the address where you should send your gift. Please also ask her to write a comment on her listing acknowledging that the two of you have communicated and confirm what you will be sending. Here is an example listing with example comments that show how this conversation might play out: http://togetherrising.org/holidayhands/the-holiday-hands-project/show-listing/?id=3
- Once you see your gift publicly acknowledged in the comments section of the listing, go ahead and send your gift. (Please do NOT send your gift until you the author of the listing has posted your name in a comment on the listing — this will help prevent duplicate gifts if multiple givers comment on a listing.) Please try to send your presents within a few days of your communication—the listers will be eagerly awaiting your response!
Directions For Listers:
- Listers, after you submitted your listing, you should have received an automatic message letting you know that the listing had been received and was awaiting approval. This message contains a direct link to your listing, which is the easiest way for you to access your listing online. If you do not see this email, it may be in your spam or junk email folder.
- If your listing has been approved for Holiday Hands, you should have received another automatic message letting you know that your listing has been enabled, with another direct web link to the listing.
- Givers are being asked to respond to you in two ways–publicly in the comments section underneath your individual listing, and privately, through email. Please respond to them both publicly in the comments section and privately via email. To see an example of how this might look in the comments section, click here.
- Please be prompt with your responses so that we can know when needs are filled as soon as possible. Givers are being instructed not to send their gifts until the see their names listed in the comments section of your listing, so do not forget this important step.
- When a giver or givers have indicated their willingness to support your request, a Together Rising volunteer will write the word TAKEN in on your listing and move it to the Taken category.
A few final words for our Beloved Holiday Hands Participants:
- Please read and reread and rerereead the instructions before posting questions.
- We have added a cap of $100 on requests in order to serve more families. We are asking our givers and receivers to honor this part of the program. If a requester has already received items or contributions totaling $100, please find a request that has not been fulfilled. It’s more important that everyone get something than someone get everything.
- We approved as many listings as we possibly could. In fact, Together Rising is meeting the needs of 23 families in addition to the ones you see listed by sending $100 gift cards to use toward groceries and basic needs. Some other listings were flagged by our system for a variety of reasons and need a bit more vetting. If you submitted a listing and received an initial confirmation message (but have not received another message letting you know that your listing has been enabled or that you will be receiving a gift card), please click here to give us a bit more information so we can look at your listing again. We carefully filter all listings for the safety of our community, and the additional information you provide will help us in this process.
- Some listers, particularly those with Hotmail or MSN email accounts, have not been able to receive email correspondence from us. If you submitted a listing but have not received an initial confirmation email or any email follow-up, please send us a message so that we can look into this for you. Our email address is [email protected], and once you write to us directly you should be able to receive our messages as well.
- While the collection of Holiday Hands listings is over, the requests for help continue. We have not vetted and cannot vouch for requests made on the Facebook page and on the blog, so we are asking that no one attempt to make matches this way outside of the Holiday Hands program. Please honor our commitment to this community by bringing needs to us and by only answering needs through us.
- If you are a giver who wants to give to the many people who continue to ask for help, or to give in support of the requests that we have not posted, please consider making a donation to Together Rising. After all the public matching is done the work will continue, as we work in support of so many HER stories. Every day we work to match needs with resources. Every tax-deductible penny you give goes straight to mamas and dads in need. This is unusual. A miracle, really. Made possible by those two unbeatable teammates: FAITH & SWEAT.
- Thank you, thank you, thank you — to the Givers, Receivers & those Cheering and Praying us on — for proving that Love Wins and We Belong to Each Other. Thank you.
God Bless Us, Every One.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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