I am an extremely blessed person.
I have a good husband who works hard, three beautiful and healthy children who brighten my every moment and a job that I love. Plus, that job affords me the best readers, support and opportunity that I would not have without them.
Sure, there are financial struggles, family stresses and other issues that I could complain about any time I want. But, in the end, I am a very, very blessed lady! And I like to think I know it… however, my actions could speak louder.
This morning, on my way to take my girls to school, saddled with goodie bags for their classes, cookies for the continuing Christmas parties and gift cards for their teachers, I was brought to tears several times. While I was in the car line waiting to drop one off, I came across a story on Fox News about people paying off layaway accounts for families of young children at KMart’s across the country. As I read about people calling and paying off all but a few dollars so that the account would stay in the system, tears streamed down my face. I would never, in a million years, think to do that. And as I read on, I was more and more moved by the amazing generosity of those paying for the accounts and the deepest gratitude by the families receiving the payoffs. Even one payment towards someone’s account can help a little one have something as simple as a doll under the tree.
The next two stories were from the radio station I was listening to, 104 KRBE in Houston.
One woman, whose son is training in California to go to Iraq, bought him a ticket to come home for Christmas this year. Something fell through on the Military’s side, as it sometimes happens, and to fly him home was going to be triple the original cost… which she just simply could not afford. Not only did the radio station gift her $1,004, a caller offered her as many of her 200,000 airline miles as she could to get him home for Christmas. Since this would he his last Christmas home before being deployed in January, the entire episode had me crying and smiling all at the same time.
The second story had me pulling over on the side of the road to listen, I am not kidding.
Earlier this year, Texas was ravaged by wildfires. So, so many lost absolutely everything and are struggling day to day just to make ends meet. And though we all donated at the time, sometimes when it is out of the news, it is off of our minds. A woman wrote a letter about her sister and her two young nieces who lost everything in the fires. They were staying with friends and sleep on the floor because they can not afford mattresses. The girls miss school because the mother can not afford gas for the car. And even though the mother works and devotes her time to trying to put food on the table, she just “can’t catch a break.”
The radio station gifted her $1,004 to help give her girls a Christmas.
As I sat on the side of the road, my daughters warmly dressed and happy at school and my youngest playing with her stuffed dog, one of about 17 she has, I was immediately motivated to give back. But I have limited resources and just did not know how.
Luckily, while on a Twitter party last night with the Disney Champions for Kids: Mobilizing Millions, an idea was presented that had never occurred to me. Pay for the person behind me in the drive through. So easy, so simple, not terrible expensive – depending on where you are – and completely anonymous, which I like the idea of! Like the Kmart story, maybe the person behind me is counting change to buy their kids a simple lunch and I just made it a little easier for them.
So, I have vowed for now through Christmas to pay for the person behind me in every drive through line I go through. And I have told my husband to do the same thing. And I will Facebook and Twitter when I do it so that maybe I can inspire others! I pray that my actions cause someone else to pay it forward. And so on and so on.
Because wouldn’t it be great if this became a national epidemic we could be proud of!
Are you giving back? Tell me your story! I still have some tissues left :)