Every year, my husband's work "adopts" a few families from local schools. The employees raise money, which is then used to help provide the children with some basic needs and a few special Christmas treats. This year, being the wonderful man that he is, my husband decided that he didn't want to just give his money. He wanted to do more. So he and I were given the task, or shall I say honor, to take a very special 12-year-old girl shopping.
This girl's mother just one day decided that she no longer wanted the burden of a child, and dropped her off with her paternal grandmother to care for her. While the grandmother loves the child very much, she does not have the ability or resources to provide for her in the way she needs. So we used some of the money raised to take her on a mini shopping spree. I had a blast going through the racks and finding clothes for her adorable 12-year-old figure.
At one point I stumbled upon a white satin peplum top with a neckline adorned in black and gold beads and crystals and immediately fell in love with it. When I brought it to her to try on, the look on her face was priceless. "This HAS to fit!" she said with an ear-to-ear grin. And it did. In fact, it was a very successful shopping trip. We left with school uniforms, tennis shoes, a coat, a dress suit, a few outfits for church (she's in her church's choir), some dressy and casual tops, and some sparkly black flats to go with her new wardrobe. I also decided to make my own personal contribution and picked out a few pairs of earrings and a black infinity scarf to enhance her new look. A girl has to have her accessories after all!
Walking out of the dressing room I asked her what her favorite thing was, of course expecting her to choose the white peplum top. But instead she said, "Everything! I love all of it!"
And she really did. Seeing the look on her face reminded me how important it is to give to others who are less fortunate than we are at this time of year. It reminded me how easy it is to make a difference in someone's life. It may seem like just a few new pieces of clothing to us, but to her it's a happy story in her otherwise troubled life. A $20 bill to a middle-class engineer is hope to a 12-year old girl and her grandmother.
As we were leaving the mall, her grandmother stopped us, and with tears in her eyes told us she could not say thank you enough. She said, "While I know the reason for the season, it's not always easy to explain that to a child. But because of you, my granddaughter will know it means. You are a blessing not only to her, but to me as well."
She specifically addressed Rob and I, saying how wonderful it is what we were doing as a married couple and she hopes the Lord continues to bless us. My hope is that this is only the first of many times we do something like this together.
Celebrate this holiday season with your friends and family, but make sure to remember the reason for the season. Share your blessings with others!