December 7, 2007

on my "adoption"...

Every year, my company "adopts" a family for the holidays. Last year, we received so many donations from employees, that we were able to take on more than just one, which completely warms my heart. Generosity is underrated these days, I feel. Every teensie bit you give can make a difference. This year I've done the most donating I've ever done - not to give myself mad props or anything - but it truly does feel good to know that you're helping either a cause, or people who really don't have enough themselves. It feels good to know that you're making some sort of a difference in this world.

(Always reminds me of that Friends episode where Phoebe is trying to do a completely selfless act, and keeps getting pissed off when she feels good after she's done something - because, quite apparently, it's not completely selfless if you receive any sort of gratification from it.)

Anyway, this year we're "adopting" individual children instead of an entire family. I went upstairs to the makeshift tree (AKA: bits of garland taped to a door in the haphazard design of a tree) and chose a child that I wanted to buy a gift for. To be honest, it broke my heart just looking at the requests. These children, when asked to put down what they'd like for Christmas, put down things like shoes, socks, and what I saw most of, which were requests for gift certificates for food. There was one child who was written down as an eight-year-old little boy, and all he had written down was a request for a grocery store gift certificate.

He could have asked for Transformers or a video game or a new basketball or whatever it is that eight-year-olds like these days. But, no. He just asked for food.

Is that not heartbreaking? It blows me away.

I can't imagine the place these children are in, and it really puts things in perspective, I guess.

I ended up choosing a thirteen-year-old girl who just wanted a hooded sweatshirt or sweater. I went out yesterday and (thanks to the goodness of the discount stores that I frequent all-too-often, "Do you love it? I love it! I got it at Ross!") purchased a cute grey zip-up sweater, a dark green hooded jacket, and a t-shirt that had this cute apple design on it. It's always tricky picking out clothes for someone who you've never seen and know nothing about, so I tried to think what your average thirteen-year-old would find fabulous. If I get to the mall sometime this week, I also want to get her a Claire's gift certificate. I lived and breathed Claire's when I was a teenager.

Anyway, that's my story. But I guess I want to encourage everyone else to find some way to make a difference for someone else this Christmas. As "tough" as I feel I have it sometimes, it's really not the case when I look around me. So get out there and give, people! Give like you've never given before!

In the words of our dear Friends:

Rachel: "Maybe Joey's right. Maybe all good deeds are selfish."
Phoebe: "I will find a selfless good deed! 'Cause I just gave birth to three children and I will not let them be raised in a world where Joey is right!"

1 comment :

  1. My mom's preschool class always adopts a family. I love shopping with her for them... we always get them shoes and mittens and warm hats because the students usually get the toys. My mom is so unselfish... she works two jobs, lives on PB&J, and puts me through college yet still finds the money to keep some poor kids warm.

    I love the feel-good-ness of the holiday season. :-)
    (Baking yummies for my boyfriend's roommates totally counts for that, right?)


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