Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giving Back this Holiday Season: A Good Example from Robeez and Reflection

There are a multitude of ways that we can "give back" a little of what we have during the holiday season and beyond. We all know that there is always someone less fortunate than us and that we should do what we can to help. However, it is usually during this time of year that we are made more aware of the troubles of the world and are asked to help. Yet, even during this 'season of giving' somehow the majority of our senses are constantly overloaded wtih ways that we can further please and give to ourselves rather than to those who truly need. And, by ourselves, I mean those of us who are already more than blessed by having a roof over our heads and food to eat each night. We are often all but lost to the fact that there are people out there in our world who have next to nothing. I too am often consumed by sale papers and inviting signs in store windows that seem to be shouting "JUST BUY ONE MORE THING!" when that one more thing will go unnoticed in the piles of gifts that have already been purchased. In the blessed world of plenty that most of us are a part of it is so easy to forget that there are families out there literally living on the streets, families that have to wonder where there next meal will come from (or if they will even have one), and children who don't even have shoes to cover their feet. Unless we make a conscious effort to really sit back and think about these people who are less fortunate than ourselves, they are forgotten. And, though the 'season of giving' it may be, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays it's easier than ever to forget the real reason for the season.

Because of this, my family tries each year to make a conscious effort to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. It's easy to say that we don't have this and we don't have that, but more important than focusing on what we don't have is to really sit back and think about what we do have. Having this perspective is especially important during the holidays when all we can seem to think about is what we want for Christmas! Now that EG, our two year old, is getting older and is starting to understand everything much, much more it is more important than ever to help her to have a giving heart and an understanding of what this season is really about. One special thing we started as a family the year she was born is to have one special "giving" gift on the tree each year. This special gift is some sort of contribution to a charity or cause of our choice in honor of each member of our family. The first year we did it, I chose something for my husband, he for me, and we decided together a charity for EG. We searched for organizations and causes that would be near and dear to each other's hearts and made a donation in each other's names. As soon as the contribution is made we usually type up a note on the computer and wrap it up, or stick it in an ornament on the tree, or simply put it in an envelope on the tree. We saved these gifts for last, and they have honestly become the most special. It is a great way to research and find out about organization and charities out there that we may not have otherwise known about, and it is a conscious way to pay it forward to those less fortunate than us. We can't afford to give as much as some, but the message I want to send to my daughter is that there is always someone less fortunate than us and it is our responsibility to do what we can to help. This will be our third Christmas with this tradition and I am more anxious to see what's in the little envelope on the tree than I am to see any of the wrapped packages below. There is always something more you can do, but every little bit helps. I hope that this tradition will continue in our family long after my husband and I are gone and that we are teaching our daughter a valuable lesson about the meaning of this season of giving.

I say all of this and tell you these stories to draw your attention to and applaud a special partnership that Robeez has this year with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) through their Season of Giving (you can find out more here). Robeez is a well-known and loved chilren's shoe company that is working with K.I.D.S. by providing a pair of soft-soled Robeez shoes to the K.I.D.S. organization for each pair that is purchased through December 23. The K.I.D.S. organization "brings hope and self-esteem to children in need and their families by providing new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and juvenile products donated by leading manufacturers and retailers. The donations move through their network of community social service agencies in the U.S. and abroad to reach children who are ill, living in poverty, or are the victims of natural disasters." This is a very worthy cause that benefits children who are truly in need this holiday season. So, as you are making your Robeez purchases this Christmas, know that you are really purchasing two pairs - one for you and one for a child in need who may only have this pair of shoes to wear, and quite possibly may have never owned a brand new pair. There are tons to choose from on the Robeez website including, my favorite for those beautiful Christmas outfits, these black Mini Shoez Patent Mary Janes. It's a great way to give and thank you to Robeez for truly providing us with a good example to follow.

I invite you to share your story of giving and about the Robeez Season of Giving. By doing so, you may also be eligible to receive some wonderful Robeez to gift, donate, or keep. You can find out more information here. Thank you to all of you who truly commit to making this a "season of giving"!

Long Time, No Blog - But back to stay!

Long time, no blog. For my family and other reasons I had to take a break for a little while. However, I am happy to be back and have some great things to share with you got that delayed a little more than expected! My apologies for that, and thank you to all of the wonderful people I am working with that have been so understanding! It's good to be back and I hope everyone is having and continues to have a wonderful and blessed holiday season!