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Monday, December 8, 2008

Why I give.

I am a giver. I get great joy from seeing people's faces light up. I also receive tremendous personal joy in giving to children. Children I will never meet or see. How does a person become a giver? I only know my own story.

I was an orphan by the time I was 5 years old. Over the years there have been many people who have blessed me. Whether it be the foster families that I lived with, case workers and occasionally perfect strangers. There is no way I could ever begin to repay their kindness so instead I have chosen to pay it forward.
I have also taught my children to give. One of our favorite ways to give is the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. My children pick a child their age and they select gifts to place into a shoebox that is sent to a child in a third world country.

For those hard to buy for people I have purchased all sorts of animals in their name to give to those less fortunate. This year I am giving my grandmother a goat. She is very excited!

Another favorite is the Worchester Wreath Company .
Back in 1992 the company initiated the Arlington National Cemetery project. The company provides over 5000 wreaths each year to adorn the headstones of our fallen veterans. They have now begun the Wreaths Across America campaign to honor veterans in each and every State and national cemeteries across the country.

Do you have a favorite way to give?


jewelstreet said...

This is a lovely post! I didn't know about the wreath organization.

I give to a local charity called The Giving Tree. We donated several toys to their boxes this year. Then there is toys for tots. I always drop a few toys in there. I can't resist a Salvation Army bell ringer when I have cash. And, most recently, I've become a Spirit Jumper to help Cancer patients.

There's more, but these are the big ones.

Christie Todd said...

YOU WON!! Congratulations! You won "I'm Glad I'm a Mom" put out in March by Hearts at Home. It includes a story about my son, called "The Birthday Surprise." Hope you enjoy!!! Please send me your shipping information so I can get it to you.

Christie Todd

Kass said...

You are a kindred spirit. Even though I have been abundantly blessed with a big, huge loving family my whole life, I too have a thing for children who are orphaned. I am very proud of my daughter Tricia- who started her own non profit at the age of 22! Her goal is to build an orphanage outside of the Nairobi Kenya slum- Kibera- where 1 million people live in squallar the size of a square mile! There is an orphanage there that she volunteered at 2 years ago. She loves those kids and is now on her way to building them a new lovely home in the country. She has been able to find a new place in the meantime for 6 vulnerable little girls who were at the orphanage. They are now at Hekima Place- a wonderful place for orphaned girls- started by a woman who was herself lived in an orphanage from the time she was 8 years old. The address is My daughter's charity is Faces of Kibera and we are having a big eBay Sports auction this week- you can read all about it on my blog.

I love your favorite charities as well and will look into them.
God Bless You!

The Berry's Patch said...

Have you heard of Precor? It's a fantastic organization here in Mesa. You can adopt a struggling family. We usually pick from the angel tree but found this organization a few years back.

perilloparodies said...

When we had just our first two boys and we still lived in the States, we had the tradition of doing Samaritan-s Purse gift boxes. it was so fun for me and the boys. I miss doing it, actually. This year I donated sneakers to children in Africa. I have had a more difficult time figuring out the "traditions" thing here in Italy, but I was very happy to at least "Help" in some way. I am keeping an eye and ear out for other opportunities nearer to me...

Lorrie said...

Your post is so touching, Laura, and reflects your giving heart.

We like to do one or two Christmas shoeboxes each year. It's fun to fill them with special things and to pray for the child who receives them.
We also support a child through Compassion International. Our monthly donation helps him go to school and provides some of the necessities of life.
The Water School has a wonderful program for providing clean water in Africa (well, any tropical country). Their method uses the UV rays of the sun to purify water. Last Christmas our church raised 35,000 for clean water in Africa, and this next year we'll be sending a group to Kenya to work with the Water School.
There are so many wonderful ways to share our own blessings.

KDLOST said...

This is a beautiful post!

There is so much need in New Orleans. I will, in some way, be helping a local organization this year. Here's a favorite:
These folks are AWESOME!!!

heather said...

You always amaze me.

And my favorite way to give is with love.

Shimmy Mom said...

Beautiful post.

We have filled shoe boxes before, my kids loved it. And we try to find a local Angel Tree every year.

I hadn't heard of the Worchester Wreath place or their cause though. Thank you so much for telling us about it.


Meredith Teagarden said...

Ah hah! You and I both share some common childhood things! No wonder
i love this blog!

Lady Dorothy said...

What wonderful ways to give!

I don't know if I have a *favorite* way to give, but we do try to give generously. No matter what the circumstances with and around us are, we are always blessed and can give to someone in need. Even when we may feel a need, too!

We support a Compassion child, Jose in Honduras, so we sent him a gift for Christmas, of course. We gave an Angel Tree gift, too. Those are for the children of prisoners. I try to always give some to the Salvation Army bellringers (my grandchildren have been bellringers for 4 years now!). We have given and are giving a few more places, but some are secret! :-)

Blondie's Journal said...

For as long s I can remember I have been making monetary donations to Mercy Home here in Chicago. It is a home for teens who have come from troubled homes with only the clothes on their back. Our donations provide a roof over their heads, warm meals and a catholic education. Most go on to live very productive lives haven been given the means for great opportunities. I have also started making donations th the Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Fund which is very important to me as I have lost my mother and sister to this disease. More and more the focus not only on ways to treat cancer but in finding the cause. In addition, I also make regular food and clothing donations to a local food pantry and the St. Vincent DePaul Society. Christmas is a wonderful time to remember those less fortunate, but I try to keep Christmas in my heart year round. Thanks again for your timely post.

~♥~ Monica S said...

Thanks for sharing your childhood! THat must've been a lonely feeling... even though you had foster parents/family...

I have been giving to and "adoptive" child for years.. through something called PLAN. I had contact with a boy in Peru.. and his family.. then the boy grew up and moved.. but luckily I got to stay in the family and continued my contact with his brother... then they all moved, and we stopped.
I might gat back in with Plan som day.. but not right now!


Ericson said...

What a blessing you are!!! I think its important to give also and I know what it feels like to feel all alone. Being adopted and going through so rough times in Brasil. Im trying to teach my 2 boys to be thankful and someday take them to Brasil so they can see how much they have and to help others~

Priscila said...

that one from ericson is from me

Miss Sandy said...

What wonderful and worthy charities. We love doing the Shoe Box ministry too. We adopt a family each year as well as donating to a local school for children who need school supplies. Our church family also adopts several families and supplies them with gifts and holiday meal baskets. We often by Bibles in the name of those on our gift list and send them with a friend who is a missionary to help spread the gospel. We also donate toys at three local store that give to women and children shelters. There are so many opportunities. I am going to do a wreath for my father-in-law, thanks for information. Many blessings!

Charli and me said...

I think you have hit on the true meaning of Christmas. Through the years we have always sent a check to the Salvation Army. Our church also has what's called a giving tree. You take a tag, or two from the tree which will ask for specific items like slippers,a robe, or a purse. You buy it, wrap it, and then put it under the tree.

TuTu's Bliss said...

This is a wonderful wondeful post. I would love a goat but noone ever believes me. Thank you so much for visiting my blog.

My name is Diana. said...

Hi Laura! Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself. I love the Samaritans Purse too! We did that at my daughter's school (where I work) this year! I was just amazed at all the shoeboxes we filled! Love your blog!

Suburban Cowgirl said...

I think that's a really good idea, Maybe I will try it this year too.

Thanks for coming to my blog.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

This is a great post. Giving an animal is a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for the goat alert!

Jadehollow said...

Wow Laura I feel a spiritual connection to you. My favorite Charities are of course Samaritans Purse and Salvation Army. Our family has been doing the shoeboxes for 3 years now and my daughter and I had the pleasure of helping sort the gifts for the shoeboxes this past Thanksgiving week. I too was a child of Foster Care and a fellow Georgian.
Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and leaving such a wonderful comment. Hope you visit again soon.
Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!
God Bless,