So there was no post yesterday. No excuses. Just didn’t get to it. I have been exhausted I thought about it a lot. I knew what I wanted to write about and how I wanted it to sound, but it just didn’t happen. My apologies.
But I do have a lot to say today and it is all centered around inspiration.
Here’s the backstory to my inspiration: I work for a nonprofit that provides addiction treatment services for people throughout Maryland. One of the special populations we serve is pregnant and parenting mothers who come into residential treatment with us and bring their kids (this eliminates the barrier of women not coming into treatment because they don’t know who will take care of their kids for 5 – 7 months).
So, with the holidays coming up, we are always looking for people to help us with our small holiday party for the women and children’s program by donating gifts and “adopting” the kids for the holidays. The participation and excitement varies from year to year, but we always try to make it a very special holiday for the kids, many of whom are spending their first holiday with their moms in a healthy state.
In searching for a way to boost participation this year and help make sure all of the kids were taken care of, I sent my email out to a bunch of business colleagues. A few spectacular folks responded immediately and signed up to help, but a few days later I still had more than 15 openings. So, being a youthful, techphilic young mama, I did what I do anytime I am looking for assistance, advice, etc: I turned to Facebook. I posted the information and asked people to let me know if they were interested. And you know what…
Within 49 minutes, all but 4 kids were adopted!
I was amazed, inspired and sincerely touched by all of the fast responses and enthusiastic people who gleefully signed up to adopt one or more kids this holiday season. Everytime I got another answer, I shed another tear.
And it got me thinking.
I have been very lucky in my life. There have been times that haven’t been easy, months where our spending has been lean or limited, but overall, I have had so many wonderful experiences and opportunities, and I am not in need of anything. If I want a new coat, or new tennis shoes or to go out to dinner with friends, I may have to shift some funds or cut spending in one area, but I can do it eventually. Many, many people can’t.
And so, this year I am starting what I hope to be an annual tradition: My No-Giftmas.
That’s right. I don’t want anything. Nothing. I don’t need anything.
But you’re my secret santa/mom/grandma/friend and you really wanted to get me something? Ok…
Give me the gift of giving back to one of these amazing charities:
Recycled Love (outstanding animal rescue group in Baltimore): http://recycledlove.org/home.html
or their other rescue branch: http://www.jasmineshouse.org/home.htm which serves those amazing pitt bulls that we love so much in our house.
This is another wonderful organization, founded by Sonja Sohn, one of the stars of HBOs hit series, The Wire. They do great things in Baltimore: http://rewiredforchange.org/
and lastly, The Family Tree is a great group that we accepted donations for in lieu of gifts at Lillian’s 1st birthday party: http://www.familytreemd.org/ They work with preventing child abuse and neglect.