Generosity and Gratitude

I know many of my followers have hard times. I know some of my followers have good times. Both can be overwhelming during the holiday season.

To make things a little easier (and probably more overwhelming, but in a good way), Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) is holding her Sixth Annual James Garfield Miracle. Basically, it’s an online event “hosted” by her taxidermied boar’s head named James Garfield, where people who are in need can ask for help and people feeling generous can give it. It’s all done in the comments of the post I linked to. Here, I’ll do it again.

The basic principle is to help children or extra super special people who probably aren’t going to have much of a Christmas this year. It’s also done through Amazon.

The way it works is: people in need, those who cannot afford gifts (or food, or other needed/desperately wanted items) go to Amazon and make a wish list. It can get a bit confusing, but it’s fairly simple. Title the list anything you want, but it’s helpful to title it something like “Holden’s Christmas List” or “Christmas for the kids”, you know, something related to what you’re searching for. Then browse Amazon for the things you’d like, or would like to give someone but cannot afford, and add them to the list. The list must be publicand there must be an address attached so the people who purchase things for you can send them to you (or wherever you want the items sent).

Once you’ve made your list, go to the post I already linked to twice and leave a comment with the URL. It’s best to include a little information, like who the list is for and such. If you want to explain your/their story (like why these items cannot be afforded right now), you are more than welcome to and the community will take you in with open arms. However, if you’re not comfortable sharing, that’s fine, too.

People who want to help: scroll through the comments, find the person/people you’d like to help, click on their list, find something(s) on it you’d like to send, and purchase it! It’s that easy.

If anyone has any trouble, the community of commenters will help you to figure it out. The only thing is that there are no comment replies set up. If Jenny replies to you directly, she does it in a bolded edit on your comment. If other people reply to you, they’ll start their comment with your name and possibly comment number. So you’ll have to go back to check if you expect responses.

This was started only a few days ago and there are already over 2,300 comments. Don’t let that discourage you, though. The comments are mixes of people asking for help, people giving help, people thanking for the help, kind words, recommendations, etc.

I will admit that even I have asked for assistance through this event. At first I had planned on helping, but then I realized that my stepkids (referred to here as Nixon and Nathaniel) need a little magic, so I asked for them. Unfortunately the one thing they really want is super expensive (almost $300) so instead of asking for that I put a bunch of Amazon gift cards on my/their wishlist. Hopefully enough people will pitch in so I can get them their one shared wish, but if not that’s okay, too. The outpouring is more than enough and I’ll at least be able to get them something.

(Most of you know I have a biological son, as I talk about him often. Don’t fret about him — he’s more than taken care of thanks to my father. I’m actually even considered returning one or two of his gifts to put the money towards the kids’ present.)

Even if you’re not in need and can’t help, simply browsing the comments and seeing the staggering number of people coming together for each other is heartwarming. It’s more than heartwarming, it’s heartmelting.

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