“That’s the funny thing about giving: It’s Bigger than the Gift”

Today was so awesome! I love this time of the year.

Personally, I believe that every journey we embark upon is for a purpose. Kind of like it’s training us for some future event. Last year, I had the privilege of working with a Title I school for a few months. This school happened to be a project HOPE school, which ensures educational opportunities for homeless children and I learned so much during my time at this school.

I encountered many children who were struggling with homelessness, anger, hopelessness and many other struggles that go along with living in extreme poverty.

These kids touched my heart dearly and I wanted to reach out in some way to help them. While I know one person can’t change the world, I decided to reach out to these kids by starting an Angel Tree program at EBS Executive Suites to bring the business community together and support our local school children with needs. We may not be able to help them all as individuals, but collectively we really can make a difference.

We sure did last year!

I guess it’s one thing to hear about kids living in poverty, but it’s another thing to watch them come to school every day and hear their stories. Things that wouldn’t seem like much to many people, seemed so very life altering to some of these kids.

Right now, we have the opportunity to spread a little happiness in our community. The Angel Tree will be a yearly tradition at EBS Executive Suites. We will choose Title I schools to support and we will continue to have our gift wrapping parties with our community members who are interested in being “elves” for this project.

Our hearts go out to these little kids for our own, very personal reasons. Some people want to give to a little girl, some a little boy, and some, they want the kids that no one else seems to want to pick. It seems to me, that it’s not so much about where these kids are right now, but where we were at some given point in our childhood…or adulthood for that matter.

The kids that weren’t picked for the dodge ball game until the gym teacher had to assign them to a team…maybe they became the adults who chose to sponsor the kids on the tree who haven’t been selected yet. The mom who lost her little girl at a young age might want a girl her age to sponsor for the holidays, and people like me, who buried a child way too young, might want to give to a little child that age to honor their angel baby.

I know one thing for certain…giving is healing and it builds community. On the 19th of December, a number of us will be in a room filled with unwrapped gifts, wrapping, labeling and preparing to deliver gifts to these children, overlooking the night sky and the glow from the Christmas tree in the room. In doing this, we will be be having conversations, laughing, eating and drinking while listening to holiday music in the background. And, for this moment in time, because we are focusing on these children we are briefly given an opportunity to forget our own problems.

You see, that’s the funny thing about giving. It heals. It builds community and it makes us realize that the world is bigger than we are.

And sometimes we just need a little reminder to help keep us grounded.

On the surface, it seems like the gift is for the recipient. But, in reality, it’s as much for us as it is for the children. And, for what it’s worth…when I saw these kids coming back to school last year, they were all so proud of the gifts they received. Not so much because of the gift itself, but because of the love behind the gift. They stood a little taller and their smiles were a little broader…

I could just see it through the light in their eyes….
“Wow! I am loved.”

To me, giving is about loving ourselves by reaching out to our fellow man. What these families gain from these gifts is hard to put into words, but one day, these parents and children will do the same thing when they get back on their feet.

Just exactly like I am doing right now.

It’s like a circle of love, we just need to keep nurturing.

Happy Thursday fellowpreneurs!