Why do you do good? Maybe it’s your faith, past experiences, a personal code of ethics, or some other reason, but whatever the reason, it’s pushing you towards action, and one of the benefits of knowing our neighborhood is being able to play a part in those actions. Recently, we were fortunate to share in a life lesson and act of kindness from a young family who epitomized a spirit of giving this Christmas season.
Anyone who has children knows that more often than not, a spirit of thankfulness is something we must cultivate. As parents, it can be frustrating and sometimes disheartening to see ungratefulness in our kids and we often struggle to find ways to fix it. Recently, a mom of three young children who was seeing a shift toward ingratitude in her oldest child contacted us, because as she saw a shift in her daughter’s mindset, she also saw a great opportunity to do something about it. This Christmas they told her that she would get one present from them and one present from Santa, and they would give the rest of what they would normally do for Christmas to someone who would appreciate it. They had started a tradition last year of making ornaments for the tree instead of buying them and this year they decided to start a new one; give a family Christmas like they used to give each other. Needless to say, we were thrilled to be able to help out with this and began to seek out a family that would be blessed by the heart our friends were demonstrating.
Square Mile’s model of working in the community is grounded in partnerships we have with local churches, non profits, and businesses and while we know and work with many families, we thought it best to reach out to some of our partners and see if they had anyone that could really use a little Christmas miracle. Our friend-Kim Zimmer, of Speiro Legacies–had been helping a wonderful single mom who was working hard to provide a better life for her two children. She was working on getting into college and had just had her hours cut at her job. She had to move in with her mother and find rides to work since she doesn’t have a car. They had no Christmas tree and very little extra income with which to provide Christmas for her kids.
Instead of us describing it, here is a little of what the mom who contacted us had to say. We’ve changed the names and taken out some small details to protect the privacy and anonymity of everyone involved.
“Sunday was awesome! Elise can be somewhat unappreciative of all that we do for her and this was a great way to help teach her the value of what she has and the joy of giving to others. We found such a great family thanks to you and Kim! Lisa was so nice and humble inviting us in her home that Kim said she had been cleaning all day. She had her sister there with her kids and baby daddy, and I think and her mom as well.
They are ready for Christmas now as we brought her a tree and lights, ornaments even a beautiful black angel for her tree topper! There are presents to fill the tree skirt, stockings for Santa to fill and a gift card so she could go buy her family what ever she wants. Lisa started crying when I gave her the gift card and we had a long hug and pulled apart and just looked at each other. No words needed to be said but a grin from her and a nod form me, woman to woman, our hearts were happy! My heart is still happy! I don’t know why the universe hasn’t given me millions of dollars ya know? I’d be helping everyone out! Anyways, we stayed for a bit and chatted and just enjoyed each other.
Elise did well and I was so proud of her heart too. She’s old enough to remember and she felt so good about helping out. She’s already thinking about next year’s family, which is great because she’s not just thinking about herself! As we were leaving, Lisa and I chatted about her goals and I’m hoping to help out with getting her son in daycare and showing her how I survived as a single mom with a couple jobs and student loans. Hopefully we can help her out so she can survive too with out emotionally draining out her energy! We’ll chat again Christmas day”
It warms our heart and inspires us to know the joy and meaning this simple act of kindness brought to both families. This isn’t charity, this is one family reaching out to support another family. This is personal. This is the beauty of what community can give each other. This is also one experience of many that will help our friend’s young daughter grow up with a heart that is grateful, compassionate, and full of love for those around her.
That’s the best multitasking out there.