HERE WE GO, FRIENDS! IT’S THE MOST MAGICAL TIME OF THE YEAR!
IT’S OUR FOURTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY HANDS!!!!!
A few years ago – I was sitting on my couch, eating noodles and watching a news story about families struggling to buy holiday gifts for their children. Some said that preparing their usual Christmas dinner would not be an option, because they didn’t have the money for the turkey and the stuffing and the yummy desserts. Some said they couldn’t buy gifts because that money was going to pay for the heat bill. One man said he just wanted to buy his wife a little necklace, a little something to show her how much her work at home and the office meant to him, but he couldn’t. There just wasn’t any extra. None.
All of this made me want to stick the fork I was holding directly into my eye.
Then I started thinking about how there are probably many Monkee families in these situations, and that made me want to put my fork down and start brainstorming. Because no way, Jose. Not on our watch. Not our community.
We might not be able to fix everything, but we can do some things. WE must do for ONE Family what we wish we could do for ALL families. That is enough. That is everything.
I want to live in a world in which there is no MINE and YOURS when it comes to children. I want to believe that all children are OUR children. And if we want to live in a world like that- than we have to create a world like that. We do that TODAY. Today we stop wishing for a kinder, better, more magical world and start creating one. We BE the change we want to see. 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. That’s the truth here.
And the truthier truth is that Holiday Hands is not really about GIFTS FOR KIDS. It’s about revealing to their parents that they and their children are SEEN AND VALUED AND LOVED. That’s what it’s about. It’s about proving that there is no such thing as a stranger – and that there is NOBODY who is truly alone. AND IT WORKS.
Remember last year when Kandra told us that her little girl, Gabby, didn’t have any friends and so what they needed from Holiday Hands was letters from strangers? GABBY JUST OPENED HER TEN THOUSANDTH LETTER. She now writes back to the people who write her to tell THEM that they are not alone and that it gets better. Before Holiday Hands last year, little Gabby was lonely. NOW GABBY IS AN ADVOCATE FOR THE LONELY. Her mom came to one of my speaking events to tell me this story. She stood up in front of hundreds of people to say, “Please thank the Momastery community for me. Their letters and their love changed my little girl.”
Here are just a few examples of some of the hundreds of miracles that happened during last year’s Holiday Hands:
- Scores of families received holiday meals or Christmas trees to help celebrate the season.
- Many families received books or diapers or shoes or winter coats for their children.
- A three-year old with autism received a special trampoline.
- Two daughters received handmade quilts in honor of their late quilt-making grandmother.
- A reader’s elderly neighbors received some much-needed new clothing.
- A mom received a sewing machine to use to support her family.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Everyone reading this has a need this holiday. Some of us don’t have enough this year. These families need a hand buying gifts for their kids. Some of us have a little extra this year. These families need to reach out to other families and share, in order to wake themselves up and connect and really experience what the holidays mean. And some of us have just enough. These families need to sit back and cheer us on and say hopeful and grateful prayers and witness some miracles, to keep believing in people and love.
We all have needs. When we don’t share our needs, out of pride or fear of rejection, we deprive other people of fulfilling their needs. Sometimes we need to receive and sometimes we need to give. Seasons change. So please decide which category you fall into this year, in this season of your life, and participate accordingly. Just DO IT- Jump in. This process CHANGES people. Become part of the most holy rhythm on Earth – Giving, Receiving, and Actively Witnessing.
OKAY. Are you ready to get started???? Today is the day for folks who need a little extra to post their needs. If you have a little extra to give this year or you know some folks who do, pleasepleaseplease mark your calendar to meet us back here on Wednesday, November 12 to review the requests and find your family match for this holiday season.
PLEASE READ THESE GUIDELINES. THEY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER THIS YEAR:
First: Please read and reread and rereread the instructions before posting questions.
Second: Starting in 2013, we set a cap of $100 on each request (per family) in order to be able to help even more families. HOLIDAY HANDS is the time when strangers help other strangers provide holiday cheer for their families. It is specifically designed to help provide for the holiday needs and wants of families so that they can put the funds they would have spent on gifts toward other needs.
Third: Requests may be submitted to us for a limited time. You will receive an confirmation email once you submit a request– please be sure to check your SPAM e-mail folder. We will keep submissions open until we reach our Holiday Hands capacity (which could happen in a matter of hours or days). Requests will not automatically be posted when submitted and just because a request was submitted does not mean it will necessarily be part of our Holiday Hands program. Rather, we will be collecting and reviewing requests and then we will post the final, approved requests that will be part of Holiday Hands on Wednesday, November 12.
Fourth: Every year, after Holiday Hands is shut down, the all-volunteer Together Rising Board continues to receive requests for holiday miracles all the way up to the end of the month. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution directly to Together Rising to allow us to help those families, please click here to donate.
WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER. LET’S PROVE IT. To list your needs and become part of our Holiday Hands 2014 Miracle, click here now:
G and Your Together Rising Board
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