Merry Christmas, ya’ll!
As we careen toward the end of 2013 and get caught up in the frenzy that is the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a tradition which I have carried on for the last 4 or 5 years, and which keeps things in perspective for me.
We live in a relatively rural North Georgia county, still escaping being swallowed up by the monster that is Metro Atlanta. The prosperity in Atlanta, and even in the Northern Metro counties to our south, has not reached here. We have a high rate of poverty and, sadly, domestic violence.
No One Alone (NOA) http://noonealone.org/ serves the victims of domestic violence, and their children, in two local counties, and does an absolutely AMAZING job of it. The dedicated employees and board members truly make an enormous difference and help to change lives.
Think about this; you are a mother with a small child or children; you have left your home, everything you own, with only the clothes on your backs. You knew you had to do it, to save yourself, but even more importantly, to save your children from this life of abuse and give them a future. It’s November or December. Your children don’t expect much, but you have nothing.
Enter NOA’s Adopt a Family program. Each year, I have adopted a mom and child, but this year, I enlisted my friend P, who wanted to help a less fortunate family as well. We received a list for Family #13, so it seemed appropriate to share this story today. Their list was long, but very humbling, asking for the basics; clothing, underwear, a jacket, along with a couple of toy requests for the kids, both under 4 years of age.
Well suffice it to say, P and I split up the list and then went crAZy!!! I will be the first to tell you, I am NOT a shopper. In fact, I HATE shopping. But this program makes me forget all about that, and I got out early, beating the crowds, list in hand. I scored great clothes for Mom and the little one, and toys, did I mention toys????
P is a thrift shopper and so, besides our “new” gifts, she prepared a GIANT box of like-new thrift shop finds for the whole family! And of course, a small care package of fun toothbrushes for the kids, shampoo and mascara for Mom; things we take for granted.
P and I got together last weekend to wrap and label the gifts. We were totally efficient wrapping machines, and stood in awe once it was all done. We talked about what a courageous thing this Mom had done for herself and her boys. We cried and hugged, and worried about what they would do once their time at the shelter was done.
I am excited to say that through lots of generous donors, NOA was able to fulfill their Adopt a Family program this year. However, the need is constant, so I would encourage you to give to someone less fortunate than yourself. It will make your holidays, I promise!