Holiday lights are everywhere. Even in the midst of the construction on the Hillsides campus, cottages have been rimmed with lights peeking through the construction barriers. Holiday pageants are being held, and gifts are being collected from volunteers, sorted to meet holiday wish lists and prepared for delivery. Everything is being done to make the holidays memorable for all the children, youth and families we serve both on the campus and at all our community centers.
A couple of years ago I ran into the parent of a client at one our holiday celebrations who went out of her way to say thank you. She thanked us not so much for the gifts but how access to the gifts allowed her to provide for her children. As much as the presents benefited the children, it also allowed this mother to reassure her children that in spite of challenges they would be cared for.
No matter the size of a gift, each is a token of affection, an indicator of support and a reminder of selflessness. Gifts touch the heart and brighten the spirit, and more often than not, generate a sense of gratitude that results in authentic generosity, spawning a cycle of caring.
What impressed this mother also was that these gifts were the expressions of support from strangers, whose generosity was blind, truly selfless and without any direct personal benefit to the donor. The impact of such a gratuitous gesture is powerful, not taken for granted and what is truly “magical” about the holiday season.
To all the donors and volunteers who make this time of year truly awesome for all those we serve, I would like to offer a sincere, heartfelt thank you. Without your generosity, the statement of caring and support we offer our children, youth and families would be impossible. In the midst of challenging times, when many we care for are easily overwhelmed, your graciousness has eased their burden, dispelled despair and restored hope.