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Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent Blog: Day 14~ Charity

'Tis the Season.

Of course, it is important to help those in need all year-- and I try to do that. But it seems that it is especially so during this time of year. Perhaps it is the Christian reminder-- WWJD? Perhaps it is the realization of how much STUFF we have, while others have so little. Maybe it's the just the weather. Who knows.

The past several Christmases I have been in a funk. I have not had the Christmas spirit. This year has been somewhat better, but still not up to my old-fashioned PEP.

One event that usually puts things in perspective for me, and makes me feel the spirit somewhat is Shop with a Cop. Several cities around the country sponsor this event. Here the 3 local police agencies raise $$ all year. They, along with other community clubs and sponsors, host needy children one morning at Walmart. Each child gets a gift card with whatever the amount for that year is (this year it was $150) to spend. They are, of course, encouraged to spend it on themselves, but many spend the majority of it on their families.

Each child shops with a police officer (hence, Shop with a COP), and a civilian. I always volunteer to help wrap gifts-- I am nosy and like to see what the kids get.

Last year one of the local papers ran a great story on the event... here is the link:

This year Josh took some pictures of Miche and I wr-wr-wrapping (as Pete says)

Through the years we have had some HILARIOUS Shop with a Cop stories... Several years ago Pete and I went to Aubrey's for "ONE drink and maybe an appetizer for dinner"... HOURS and MANY DRINKS later, we are at another bar all because Pete is chasing "some chick from Maryville College"... as a side note, that chick is now his wife, so all this was TOTALLY worth it... That night I ended up staying in the guest room. I woke up the next AM to Pete's blaring alarm-- Pete was still unconscious. I wake him-- he JUMPS up-- "Shop with a Cop? Is that today?!" Needless to say, I look (and feel) ROUGH... the manager @ Walmart insists that I wear a Santa hat (as I was scaring the children)... Miche comes up laughing-- as she had receieved some drunk dials the previous evening-- "How ya feeling?" My reply? "Like ASS!"

Another year, one kid asks his civilian, "Does Walmart sell Jack Daniels?"
Civilian: "Um, no."
Kid: "Papaw's gonna be pissed!"

And last year we were all waiting for the kids to arrive and we notice a strange odor in the air. An "herbish" odor if you will. Keep in mind, we are surrounded by cops. Turns out, some guy has stolen a beer, gone to the restroom in the layaway (right next to where we are), and is smoking and drinking. So one of the MANY cops goes to arrest him. While listening to his rights, dude finishes his beer in one swig.

So, no matter what you choose to do-- Angel Tree, Shop with a Cop, feeding the homeless, or just donating $$... find a charity and give. Give your time... money if you can... and help share what Christmas is all about. Who knows, it just might help you find the spirit too. Hey! It worked for Scrooge!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whether it's a Christmas gift for your husband, wife, child or friend, the act of giving is a show of love and appreciation. It also satisfies a basic need in all of us to please another. All too often, though, we forget about the larger purpose of giving, the purpose giving Christmas gifts to charity can fulfill.

Of course the act of giving a gift to a loved one or someone close to you has an immediate positive impact in seeing the joy on their face as they receive the gift and then them lighting up when they see how much you thought and cared to pick that particular gift for them.

Israel Charity