Every year I try to do something for another family that may be struggling. I was doing this by myself, but I found it is far more effective when I get other people involved and to that end, the projects have realized a level of success that leaves me with tears in my eyes.

This year is particularly emotional because we are helping a domestic violence safe house, an situation that is very close to my own heart. We realized success and I have been trying to figure out a way to let the people involved know how helpful they were and to let others know that yes, one person can make a difference. Finally, I decided on a post. And I would offer a picture as well, but i am simply to tired to drag all the gifts out of the boxes and set them up for a photo shoot. I also want to recognize the efforts of one person in particular, @Marie Anne St. Jean. 

Donations: Many of the donations were in the form of material items. A few cash donations were also made and were used to buy kitchen supplies. She will not have the utensils she needs (in her favorite color) and a microwave (coincidentally, the one at the safe house broke this week). The mother will also receive some new clothes and some hygiene products that are more than just the basics. (If you have ever been there, you know this is kind of big deal when money is tight and you just want to make sure your kids are okay.) She also has a book, which may double as emergency cash since it has pretty high value online, and a few other items for entertainment.

The children each got 5 gifts, ranging from games to crafts and personal hygiene products.

I did want to recognize @Marie Anne St. Jean for her beautiful dish cloths. Because I was a bit unorganized, this was a last minute thing and I cannot believe the quality she put into them, although if you know her, you know that she is all about quality. (She's probably going to be mad at me for pointing her out, but her efforts and the results warranted a bit of notice.)

Let me just say that recently someone told me "You can't save the world. Just live a normal life and stop worrying about everyone else."

I call bullshit. You see, not one person who donated this year is wealthy. It took the efforts of several individuals, some donating more than one item, and some donating a single item or a couple of dollars. What if each of them thought they couldn't make a difference? I don't aim to save the world. I aim to be a part of making a few ripples in it though, to whatever end I can.

To those of you who helped make this project a success, thank you so much. This mother is starting over after a violent trauma. She is working and she is making an effort to improve her situation. Sometimes, when you are in that situation, just one small effort from a person or group of people can feed or create a spark of hope.

And by the way, for those of you somehow got the idea that I must be doing well financially and that makes it easier for me to do something like this, I have $30 in my bank account and I do this because we have struggled so much that I know first hand what it's like to need the help of others. I just realized that no one ever lost anything by helping others and that I would be a supreme jackass if I didn't.


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