12 Ways to Maintain the Christmas Spirit AFTER Christmas (9)

 

A couple of months prior to this one, I asked for service project suggestions. Although I received some great ideas, one stood out. Ann from Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 mentioned collecting duffel bags for foster care children because they’re always in transition and rarely have luggage. First, I contacted a couple of friends to find out if they could point me in the direction of a foster care home specifically for minority children. They could not. That’s when I used trusty Google.

nineThrough a simple search, I found Family Support Services of North Florida. Their community service liaison, Dani said they actually needed diapers. A light bulb literally went off over my head. For October, I decided to host a virtual diaper drive. I’d planned on buying a pack of diapers each week anyway, but it seemed that including others would be even more helpful.

I was quite surprised by the outcome. A friend of mine from Illinois immediately sent $15 through Messenger. I transferred the money and purchased my first box. Other friends ordered diapers through Amazon or Walmart and had them sent to my home. Another friend who lives here in Jacksonville physically dropped off a box. A few bloggers participated by also mailing them. Wanda is one. And Michelle was another. Four weeks later, I was able to deliver 2,212 diapers.

I am grateful that, together, we were able to support a baby or family in need. I know I said number seven (paying it forward) was my favorite one, but this diaper drive has replaced it. I really believe we need to encourage each other to be more giving in multiple ways. I hate to get all preachy, but a lot of times we expect someone else to help out or we think “help” has to be a grandiose idea. Or, we believe we have to join an organization to impact society in positive ways. Well, I’m here to say that support can be as simple as dropping off or sending a box of diapers at your local foster care home. If you don’t do it, then who will?

56 thoughts on “12 Ways to Maintain the Christmas Spirit AFTER Christmas (9)

  1. This is a really good idea- we don’t often think about basic necessities that we use that others don’t have. I will be sharing this post with a few friends of mine who wanted to do a homeless drive. Bless you for all of your work and contributing towards creating a better society ❀

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  2. Christmas time, and people bustle to the stores, online shop, and at times, create havoc. This isn’t my favorite season, but I do my best to provide for our local neighbors in need throughout the year. Funds for a child needing glasses or dental work, lunches, clothes, and toys.
    Every season, I search through closets for little worn clothes and pass on to a friend not as blessed as I.
    Out in public, I make a point of giving compliments to others. We never know what someone else is going through. Perhaps, our kindness will be paid forward, and a circle of love will result.

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  3. Do you need to have a favorite? I loved all your initiatives. Truly inspiring.
    Over here it is custom to send holiday-cards for Christmas…In the past, we didn’t send them a few years and instead used that money to contribute to a good cause. This year, financial in a bit better place, we are going to do both. Cause I like to get the Christmas-cards myself too. Which reminds me of another post by you..I think I am going to add personal messages too them πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes, that’s a good suggestion Patty. Sending hundreds of cards can seem pointless, as what can you do with it once you’ve read it and stuck it on the mantelpiece?? But if you’re supporting good causes as well as sending good wishes – then it’s got to be a win-win situation. And also cards can be re-cycled! πŸ™‚

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    1. Well, I think so Patty. For me, I have to enjoy it to participate fully, and as I reflect on each one, there are certainly ones that I enjoyed more than others. I won’t say which I least enjoyed lol Christmas cards are a thing here too and we’ve stopped sending them. Instead, I send New Years cards to wish people well. Now you’ve given me my idea back to me lol I don’t know why I didn’t think to add a personalized message for them. Thanks Patty!

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  4. Each day I open my door and see a multiple of ways to help others. I guess I notice it more since I have days when I have more trouble moving than others. I think it’s contagious, just try and like an addiction you won’t be able to stop. jc

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  5. Kathy, I love that you did this!!! How cool and creative – who knew it would be so easy to inspire folks to contribute? We are all connected aren’t we Kathy. You are fantastic, and this post is so hopeful. Bless you and all involved, Kathy. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Debbie

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    1. Aw thanks Debbie! We are ABSOLUTELY connected and that’s one of the main things I want people to realize, not just with this project, but overall. Thanks for your encouragement and kind words πŸ™‚

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    1. You too??? It’s funny but I hadn’t even made the connection until you two mentioned it. I’m glad this one got to you Marie. This really was my favorite. I suppose people just need a little nudge and the right cause to show care and concern πŸ˜‰

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  6. You made me think of bud and his precious suitcase πŸ˜‚. You did such a good thing Kathy. I’m so caught up in my own world of mothering, working and my health and wellbeing that it feels like I have nothing to spare in terms of energy to give elsewhere. Sure, I volunteer in my community but that would amount to attending a meeting or writing a proposal once every 6 months or so. You’ve inspired me with this post to do more, so I’ll have a think about what that could be. Whenever Ruben grew out of a nappy size, I donated the too small stash we had to a women’s jail close by – such basic things that makes a difference to the dignity of other lives. I’ll make space in my life to do more. Only took 9 of your posts to get me here haha. I’ll do it after the Christmas hoo haa has died down though. The giving at this time of year makes me want to puke 😷

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    1. L…O…L about Bud. I suppose so, huh? I’ve been working on a reflection of this past year’s efforts, and one of the things I’ve realized is that it does take a lot of time and effort to do any of these things consistently, so I definitely understand what you mean Mek. And LOL again at being inspired on the NINTH one lol We get it when we get it! Aaaand, I definitely understand about not wanting to do it until after this season. In fact, I feel less compelled now because it’s so cliche to do so.

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  7. It is a wonderful idea that turned out to go beyond expectations. It proves that people do want to help and do so. All year round. I know a few people who have private drives for various charities and of course we have all some we chosen for regular support.
    It seems at times like a drop in the ocean but there are many of the πŸ’¦ .
    miriam

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  8. I don’t celebrate Christmas but I do encourage people to donate to AABR and QCP the two organizations that care for my brother Stephen and adults with developmentally disabilities. On Halloween I try to purchase extra costumes for the residents and I’m planning to send gifts of fidget spinners for the Holidays. Many people don’t realize that adults with developmentally disabilities often don’t have families. Parents have long died off and siblings even if they are alive don’t visit. Also here in New York the government has cut the budget so there are less workers and less teachers. The Art and Workplace Development programs have been cut. If I was retired and had free time I would volunteer but my work schedule does not allow me. However this past year I’ve asked on Facebook and on my blog for volunteers who could work with the adults to develop their creative capacities. Of course monetary donations help but also donations of clothing, pens, pencils, notebooks, board games, etc…. Sadly government continues to make budget cuts on the backs of our most vulnerable populations. Therefore We the People must step in and do what our government refuses to do.

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    1. So much to care about and do…I like it when WE decide to care and give back as much as possible. Thank you for sharing these issues because I know for sure, it’s not something that’s at the forefront of my mind. I agree what you say in the end. And, as crazy as it seems, I think this administration is actually showing us that we can do just that…care and not rely on the government to do more than we do. Thanks for this thoughtfulness.

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