Saturday, December 23, 2006

falling for it despite myself

I don't often talk the work I am involved with at an agency level - the desire to keep that separate is important, yet at the same time, the magnitude of what we accomplish sometimes makes me feel all gooey inside.

We house hundreds of adults, families and kids at a time in assorted places and ways - and the holidays is an incredible push for us - a push to not only keep up with the colder weather, but to also try and infuse a bit of holiday specialness (as much as is possible given the circumstances). Every year we match community donors with clients or groups of clients to make sure everyone has something...kids fill out wish lists and get toys and clothes, adults get more practical stuff or gift cards to buy what they need.

It's no small feat to make sure that every single person is accounted for (especially in a population that can change day by day). We have a small group of staff who take on this extra charge and convert an entire warehouse into a staging area, keeping the flow going and the gifts coming and sorted and separated and back out to our programs.

Some of the more beautiful parts is how the gift is offered - women who come together in sewing circles to sew baby blankets and scarves and bed covers, with their personal tags and flairs, or the donations from other children - with personal notes attached in child crayola speak that is humbling and precious all at once.

For all my humbugery about the said holiday spirit - I am quite the sucker for it when I see it in action. I plan to take M over to spread a little toddler joy at one of the shelters on Monday - one can never start introducing your child early enough to some of the most beautiful people on earth.

14 comments:

Z said...

Dearest Jen, your child is already blessed with some of the most beautiful people on earth as her parents. No rest for you over the holiday, but I hope you have a lovely time.

love, Zoë

mrs.incredible said...

I agree with everything Zoe just said ;)

KC said...

That sounds like a wonderful Christmas present for all parties.

Sweet blessings to you and your legion of loved ones. (Did someone say community?)

Oh, The Joys said...

I am a sucker for it too. Thank goodness. We need something to keep us grounded in our work.

urban-urchin said...

I'm glad you still 'fall for it', you're human and this is the best part of humanity.

Teaching your child that is an excellent idea.

Denguy said...

Jen, you's a smart lady.

I used to take my daughter with me when I volunteered at a soup kitchen. She loved to eat soup outdoors and sit in the big pile of clothes we donated.

I wasn't sure if she got it, but I heard her tell my mom what we used to do. She got it all right.

s@bd said...

oh night divine.

QT said...

I fall for it too - it is touching to see what people can do when they really care.

Merry Christmas, sister!

Izzy said...

You're an nbkeofangel, Jen :)

Izzy said...

Um I have no idea what those weird characters are about...lol

I was saying you're an angel!

Momish said...

Thanks for sharing yet another inspirational image, especially at this time! M is so very lucky to have it all!

mamatulip said...

I was at the mall last night and I stopped to watch the Hospital Auxilary ladies, decked out in their sequined Santa hats, cheerfully wrapping presents for free for shoppers. They were so vibrant, happy, ready to help...it was really nice to see.

I love your blog, dude. It makes me think. And realize.

Happy Holidays to you and your family. :)

PunditMom said...

What a wonderful gift you are giving them for the holidays! Merry Christmas!

ecm said...

This seems to really capture the spirit of Christmas. This is what it's all about. It's amazing the blessings that can come from some time given to others.