Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Jars

Yesterday's post took me all day. Yes. That is how much of nothing I had to say. One would probably say, "Well, why blog then? Wait till you have something to say!" Ya'll, if I did that, you would hear from me once in a blue moon and they would be anger filled posts filled with soap boxes, and "in my opinion"'s, and well, that's not my style, nor is it why I started this blog.

However, about halfway through the day, I found out about Christmas Jars, and so I snuck it in at the end of the post. But since I haven't been able to stop reading that site, or stop thinking about them since I first heard about them, I decided they needed an entry all their own.

It all started with Meghan. I went to school with Meghan and we were kinda close then, but lost contact until Facebook came about. Meghan is married to a man she knew less than 3 months when they got married. He is wonderful and they are very much in love. She found out she was pregnant a couple of months later. They were overjoyed! Then, a month or two after that, they found out they were doubly blessed, with twins! Meghan worked two jobs the whole time she was pregnant. She saved, and budgeted, and prepared for the day her two bundles of joy would arrive. When the day came, last December, we all waited patiently for the announcement. When it finally came, there were some complications.

We all waited nervously for word on how mom and babies were doing. It turned out the twins were diagnosed with downs syndrome, but were going to be just fine! Over this last year, we have gotten to see what a wonderful set of parents these two little miracle boys have! Meghan has become a vigilant advocate for children with downs. Even starting a movement to help save a little boy who was born in Alabama who had Downs and was very sick. He was a twin, and him and his twin were going to be adopted. The adopting parents saw that one of their babies was "normal" and the other was not. He needed an extended hospital stay and that was if he was going to make it. They placed a "DNR" on this little one, and left him, saying they would take the "normal" one. Meghan and her band of crusaders bombarded that hospital and the local Government and got the "DNR" lifted so this little one can have a fighting chance. Then, spread the word that he needed a family. Last I heard, the paperwork was in the process of being done to get him a forever home!

Monday night, I was checking my facebook updates and there was one from Meghan. She was sitting on the couch with her boys (who are now 1 year old! Sooo precious!) and there was a knock at the door. She went and answered it and there was a man on her porch. He said "Are you Mrs. Wilkenson?" and she replied, "Um, Yes?"  He handed her a gift bag and said "an 8th grade class wants to wish you a Merry Christmas" and walked away. She opened up the bag and took a look inside. It was a glass jar, filled, with over $200.00 in change and a book called "The Christmas Jar".

The idea behind this is, everyone keeps a spare change jar. So, you start in January and you throw all loose change in it. From your pockets, your purse, your wallet, your couch, whatever. If you can afford it, purposely throw in a dollar or two when you break a $5 or a $10. Then, when December rolls around, you pick someone who you feel is in need, or maybe just needs a reminder that they are loved, and deliver it to them, preferably decorated pretty for Christmas. Most people do it anonymously and include a copy of the book that started the idea. Or simply just put a car with the website on it.

It something soo simple. Hell, I have a change jar I started when we moved. I've thrown all change I find or that Bee leaves on the dresser into it and I already have almost $20. I have been doing it for 3 months. You'd be surprised how much you can accumulate in a year and it only requires you to keep doing what most of us do anyway. Even $50 extra dollars at the Holidays can make a world of difference to someone who needs it. It can even provide presents to a child that otherwise would not have had any.

I have come in a little late to do a real one this year, but  I have already talked to Bee and the kiddos and we are for sure going to do one next year! In the mean time, I am just going to send cash and a copy of the book to someone. I already have an idea of who, too!

As for Meghan, she was so overwhelmed. She cried, she thanked God, and she has shared the idea with many. Her and her husband have decided that the real gift of the Christmas Jar was the fact that someone loved and cared for them enough to do something like this. Since they feel the money can be better used someplace else, they have decided to donate the money to Reece's Rainbow, an organization that helps place Downs Syndrome and other special needs children into forever homes!

What a seriously touching story, and a wonderful idea. I am thankful for a wonderful tradition to be able to start with my new family :)


Sarah said...

I love this idea! You've inspired us to do the same, Joy! It is a great way to get the kids involved in a charity too... something we all can easily do. Such a simple daily act can really add up and make such a difference in someone's life!

Amander said...

That story sort of made me want to cry. What a great idea!