Monday, November 29, 2010

let's be the village...

Few memories are more precious to me than those of my childhood.  Oh those wonderful days I spent with my grandmother on my island of birth during the holiday season, how my heart aches for this time gone by.  Its arrival marked by church rehearsal of christmas carols, carnivals, beauty pageants, masquerades, sorrel drink (spiked) ;) and seasonal sugary treats, and yes, the annual appearance of santa claus with his big bag of toys ready to share joy to the crowd of wide-eyed children gathered around the evergreen tree below.  I had hoped to share this experience with my child one day but it is not to be.  The evergreen tree which marked the centre of the capital was destroyed with much of the island when the volcano rumbled to life on Montserrat in 1995.  

Each year, as the holiday season arrives, it brings with it a bit of ambivalence on my part.  While I feel blessed to be in a position to share generously with my daughter, I can't help but think of the children back home who are cowering at night under the threat of volcano; those in war-torn countries seeking only the silence of peace; and even children living amongst us (and those around the world) who live in such undesirable circumstances, that the thought of christmas and santa claus are but distant glimmers in their consciousness.

Well, this year, I decided that I will attempt to change this outlook - if only on a small scale.  I contacted a local organisation which provide basic support for families in need.  I asked them to provide the wish list of a few children and I was most humbled by the response of the children:

*underwear
*socks
*winter hat and mittens and
*winter clothes

My heart sunk.  Not one child listed a toy??????  I thought deeply about the reality (or surreal nature) of their living situations.  In a country that recently spent over $4.2 Billion on political advertisements for one day of elections, how can it be that there are children needing fundamentals like underwear, socks, and clothes? (exhale)...

I thought and thought.  Then I decided to meditate and pray for these children...this always brings me some clarity.  Of course I can help make a difference.  There is an old African Proverb - it takes a village to raise a child.  So instead of just sitting back and hoping for the best, I have arranged a way for those who wish to join me to create a memorable holiday season for the children in these four families.  

A friend and I created a toy wish list on Amazon.com and we are going to surprise these precious children with toys for Christmas.  The gifts will be mailed directly to me and I will personally deliver them to the organisation.  Oh what a Christmas morning it will be ;)

*If you wish to help sponsor these children, simply go to the wish list and purchase an item.  You can choose to remain anonymous if you wish, however, should you elect to identify yourself to me via email, I will send you a blank holiday notecard from my personal stock of Empress Christina's newly designed collection over at Soul Aperture Paper Goods as a small token of my appreciation (while supplies last).  Give thanks Empress!


*if at all possible, won't you please join me in spreading the gift of love to these few children in need?  Let's be the Village! Thank you most kindly, from the bottom of my heart.  one love.


*p.s.  a few people have reportedly encountered technical difficulties with the wish list at times...the issues seem to resolve themselves after waiting a little while.  So, if you do, please try again later.


*update:  due to your overwhelming response, the holiday cards have been all distributed...however, don't fret.  Empress Christina is clearing her inventory with a holiday sale until Thursday.

25 comments:

Wanda said...

And what a heart it is! So glad to know you.

ladyfi said...

YES - what a wonderful wonderful idea! I'll definitely be getting something for those kids.

Bless you and your kind heart.

Anyes said...

Those children will have a Christmas they will not forget. Bless your heart, full of love for helping us to
be the village :-)

chris said...

Your posts tug at my heart strings causing my own heart to go out to all those children who will not or who have never experienced Christmas. I, too, was appalled at the money spent on political media during this past election. How that mooney could have been better spent helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. This is indeed a flawed world/society when political media takes precedence over those who really need a helping hand up. Your posts are always so very thought-provoking. Thank you for keeping these issues uppermost in our minds especially now as we get ready for another holiday season.

Kim Mailhot said...

We are here to help one another. It is our most important job.
Let's do it to the best of our abilities.
Brava to you for gathering some loving hearts together to do the joyous job, Wonderful One !
One Big Love !

Lyn said...

Just joined the village Se'lah. (Stay tuned) I love this outreach of goodness and sharing -- the true meaning of Christmas. Much love, Lyn

Gayle said...

I love how you are a "get things done" kind of woman! How exciting it will be for the children and their families to have such a Christmas surprise and to find out that they have a special angel looking out for them!

rayfamily said...

Wonderful! Count me in! I remember that when I was growing up our classroom at school would 'adopt a family' at Christmas time. It was such an amazing experience! You truly are a force. Thank you!

Birdie said...

You are the change you want to see in the world Se'lah ... that we all want to see in the world... Your heart is huge and I feel privileged knowing you! My heartfelt thank you!

Teresa O said...

You are the dearest thing, Se'Lah and making a child's Christmas magical is generous and kind beyond measure.

*Hugs* I'm off to peruse the wish list.

Cinner said...

Se'lah I am going to do a post and spread the word. we will make this a great Christmas. They will be so surprised Christmas morning. hugs.

Christina said...

this is just beautiful. my heart is warmed, just by being here.
xoxo

Kamana said...

what a brilliant idea. you are just the best!

Shell said...

A beautiful way to honor the holiday spirit and help others, Se'Lah.

Just Be Real said...

Thank you for sharing Se'lah. Blessings.

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a beautiful thing for you to do Se'Lah. I take my hat off to you.
xoxo jj

elizabeth said...

That is the one thing I miss from my job, our holiday Adopt-A-Family, though there are little things I can do that are similar but different. I like the "let's be the village" idea.

rochambeau said...

You are the kindest and sweet angel Se'lah!
Thank you for being YOU!

xox
Constance

VM Sehy Photography said...

What a cool idea. Those children are truly blessed to have you on their side.

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

You had be at sorrel...count me in!

Connie said...

You are a very generous soul. It is up to each of us with numerous blessings to share with those less fortunate. My friends and I, in lieu of exchanging gifts with each other, purchase necessities and gifts for a family or two in addition to our individual contributions...right now collecting non perishable snacks for school children to take home during vacation...imagine in our country...children not having enough to eat!!!

SE'LAH... said...

My heart just melted...again.

happeningsonchaosranch said...

Oh, Dear Se'Lah, you are so very good for us! My one toy that I usually donate locally is nothing compared to the added treasures of a village of gifts and support! I wish I had thought of this, but it wasn't in me. You teach me almost every time I come to visit you here. I wish so much that I lived down the street from you. I've love to have a cup of tea with you and get a hug. Maybe soak up some of your kindness at the same time. Many blessings to you. I joined your village and I blogged about it too. I hope that some of my readers will join in also. Maybe next year, we can do it again and even add a food bank or two or three.

Much love and hugs,
Sharon in TX

Tracy said...

You are the change, you are the village, you are the heart as wide as the world, my friend. This is hugely inspiring. :o) I'm slowing getting to visiting and such though, as I've not been feeling too well in recent days since our travels--but getting there. Great to be catching up with you and back in blogland. :o) Happy Days ((LOVE & HUGS))

kath said...

Damn. I have never met anyone who can rock me back on my heels with the size of her heart the way you can. I am humbled in your presence.
I donate to families through community care and the food bank, so I am participating in my own way locally.
But still, I am humbled by all you do.
You are a great woman.
xo
Love you