Instead of my planned post, I decided to share this post from Syl at Live, Smile, Run. This is a challenge like no other and I urge you to participate.
So, here is what Syl wrote:
Hi all! Happy 300th post to me!
I wanted to this one to be special. There will be no balloons, no horns, no prize give aways but I am here to spread a very important message. I hope that if ever you wanted to join one of my challenge this would be the one!
Have you ever been in need?
Have you ever been down on your luck?
Have you ever wanted to make someone smile?
Have you ever wanted to let someone know you care?
Have you ever wanted to make someone feel special?
As you all know I lost my dad unexpectly and was dreading Christmas last year. A few things happened to me in November last year to prepare me for celebrating my first Christmas without him.
It all started as I headed out one night to do my Christmas shopping for the kids. I sat in my car outside of a toy store and balled my eyes out, I couldn't catch my breath. All I kept thinking was who would put the toys together for my kids, that was my dads job. He would sit on a chair with a screw driver and millions of packages of batteries and made sure that the kids played with their toys till the late hours of the night.
I left the toy store without a single toy, but on my drive home I knew that my dad would be so upset with me. He would of wanted Christmas to go on.
A few days later I was in a line up at a grocery store and there was a person in front of me. All the items on the line heading to the cashier were marked down items. I could see that this person was of very limited income and was only buying the essentials or what he thought he could afford. The bill came to approximately $19.00 and you could see him turn pale because he didn't have enough money to pay for everything, he started to hand the stuff back to the cashier. I stopped him in his tracks and payed for his full order. He said thank you and I said there was no need to thank me, that my pay back would be if he was able to do this for someone else one day.
This is when the Christmas bug hit me. From there I came home and posted an event on Facebook for my friends. I told them of my story and asked them to do something for someone small this holiday season. Even if it meant to buy some scarves and hats for the homeless, or something small like saying "Good morning" just something to brighten someones day.
For selfish reasons I needed stories to warm my heart. I did it in honour of my dad. And I can't tell you how this whole thing blew up. People became alive, the stories were heart warming. Everyone helped me in my quest, big or small, they made it happen. My kids got involved by shopping for less fortunate children, and dropped off toys. We picked a homeless person and put together a care package and dropped it off at the shelter. But my story doesn't end there, this event went so far as MEXICO, where some of my friends bought back packs for children, so they could attend school.
I knew that I wanted to continue on with this again this year. Not only for me but for Jen and anyone else who has lost loved ones. I know the holidays can be a tough time for people. It's hard to celebrate when there is someone in your heart and you are hurting.
So I challenge all of you my readers, to reach out to someone starting right now. Like I said it doesn't have to cost anything. You can be really creative. I wanted to continue this because I showed my kids that Christmas isn't just about material gifts, it's about gifts from the heart.
Here are some ideas:
Tell someone you don’t know that they look nice
Help someone across the street with their groceries
Open a door for someone
Let someone in front of you in line
Smile at someone and tell them to have a nice day
Buy someone behind you at a drive through a coffee
Go into a coffee shop and hand the drive through lady a $10.00 bill and tell them to use it on the orders that come through until it runs out
Make some sandwiches and deliver them to a homeless shelter
Go through your old toys and bring them to the children’s hospital
Phone your parents, siblings, friends and tell them how much they mean to you
For those of you who would like to join this challenge please spread the word and please share your story with me. This will run right now, through Christmas. Please share your stories so I can share them with others. Lets make this holiday season one filled with as much happiness and love as we can.
When the Nagle Family first left California in 2005, we truly felt lucky. We had sold our house at the top of the market and had quite a bit of extra money. Frankly, we felt blessed with good fortune and wanted to pass it along. One of the first things we did in our new home town was to participate in the Tree of Sharing, where disadvantaged people of all ages put wishes on a tree and someone else fulfills that wish. Instead of finding the little dreams, however, we spent our money on the big dreams. The one that sticks most with me and the kids is this one: We went so far as to buy a little girl a bike. When we imagined that little girl finding out that she really, truly got that bike she'd dreamed of, our hearts were filled with joy. The next year, we adopted a military unit overseas and added our huge package to others being sent to those who serve our country, away from home, at Christmas. We haven't always been able to fulfill the big dreams, but no matter what, we try to fulfill a few dreams. So, I can say with certainty, the Nagles will be joining Syl's challenge...and we hope you will, too.