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  • What I said before

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Feeling good about doing good….

With the spirit of the season here, Richard and I always find a way to provide for another family.  It is usually a family that lives in the city, someone we have no chance of knowing. Growing up in Lake County, I never wanted to support a local family because, well, honestly, I did not ever want to help someone I know.  There is always a chance that you could be given the name of a family and you could know them.  I wanted no chance of that happening so we have always gone into to Cook County….fast forward this year…

Hanging with some moms at s one day at preschool about 10 days ago listening to one of the moms recount how her husband has lost his job, they do not have enough money to get food on the table every night or make a mortgage payment. He and others at his company were demoted rather then let go so that the company did not have to pay unemployment…he is making 1/4 of what he did.  She was crying and deeply depressed. One of the last things she said to us was, there will be no Christmas tree this year, we just can not swing it. After she and a couple other moms left three of us said…OK what are we going to do. I told them what Richard and I do each year and how I thought that this might be the family for us to try to help out this year.  So it was decided, the three of us moms would gather what monies we could and help them through this already tough season.  We knew we were not fixing their problem…we were just doing what friends can do. That after noon we set out to get started. Emailing people and places looking for anything we could get.

The following preschool day, our friend said that someone here must have felt the need to leave a Christmas tree at her home….oddly it was none of us moms at preschool…each morning we would get together and combine what we had….slowly the monies were adding up. We talked about how we wanted this to be anonymous.   We did not want a connection to come to us for various reasons. How would we do that.  I had the answer, a male friend of mine, this is right up his alley, he loves to do these things. I called he he was elated and honored to be asked. So now all we had to do was collect and turn the cash in to gift cards and it would be ready.

Yesterday….the delivery day.   How much would we have…would it be a respectable amount to give?   Certainly we did not want to overwhelm either.  Hoping we had a good happy medium…we counted and added and collected.  When it was over and ready for delivery we had…..


a turkey and a couple large size bags of dog food…how could this be?? How in ten days did we get so fortunate…in this economy…we all thanked God for the blessing that was to be delivered.We were all astounded. When 8PM rolled around my friend and I drove over to the house.  I hid in the back seat…it was really exciting and in the pit of my stomach, you know the one where you always have that bad feeling, mine actually felt good..really good. After she demanded to know who it was that sent her this basket, food and dog food and he said I can not tell you, he hopped back in the car and we drove away.  Once inside the house I am sure that she was as astounded as we were.  We can only hope and pray now that she and her family feel as blessed as we do giving it to her.

The aftermath of the day has us wondering now if it was right.  I knew we would be in this place. She is good friends with one of the girls who worked on this with me. After the delivery, this girl expected to hear from her with all the ‘accusations’ of you  did this and how wonderful etc…she heard nothing…not a word, not a call, not an email. At preschool drop off she was purposefully later then all of us. None of us saw her.  She had her mom pick up her daughter…second guessing is rampant…did her husband get angry with her for sharing so much that people did this for them? Is she embarrassed?  Mind you we did not ask other preschool families for a donation..it was five families that knew at preschool…but she doesn’t know that. So here we sit, wondering about it all. What she has not heard yet is that tuition for her daughters preschool is paid in full and that her other two children, who attend private Catholic school, have also been paid full for this year. What will happen then??

We hope and pray that we have not caused more strife and anger at the home by trying to do good for them.What do you all think….


3 Responses

  1. Wow, what a great fundraising effort. Tuition and everything! Hard call on whether to have told her or not.

  2. Debi, this work came from your heart. I’m sure that you were guided in your efforts and you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable with your show of support and love for this other family. I’m sure that the family is just feeling uncomfortable with accepting the help when they don’t know who did this for them. I would lay low too until I figured things out. Maybe this other lady, the one that is good friends with the mom, can go to her and say that she heard about this good work. Maybe she can explain it as a “pay it forward” thing where others have gotten assistance in the past and wished to help out her family… and she can in turn help give a leg up to another family when they can. It’s hard for people to accept help from others when they believe they should be the ones doing the helping. I hope that she can come to terms with what she has been given… that would truely be the best thank you she could give you for your gifts.

    You have a wonderful heart, Debi. Don’t get discouraged, I’m sure they are very grateful for the gifts!

  3. 1. it’s possible that she was just late dropping off her child.
    2. it’s possible she had her mom pick up because she had a previously scheduled appointment.

    you did a great thing. thank God for His provision, and continue to pray for this family. stressful times bring out stressful behavior. they need lots of prayer for their marriage during this time and that is the best thing you can do now.

    what a great story!!

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