Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Overwhelmed, grateful and determined

For the last few years, as our family (immediate and extended) has grown, we have moved away from purchasing Christmas gifts for adults and focused only on the kids. This means that each munchkin walks away with, literally, a mountain of toys. Although it's greatly appreciated, it can also get a little out-of-control.

So, this Christmas, we collectively decided to Adopt-A-Family and transfer some of that "goodwill" to a family that needs it a little more. The process was dead easy. Our adopted family consisted of a single Mom with twin baby boys. Their wish-list was provided and, can I just say, it was slightly heartbreaking -- baby spoons and bowls, bathwash, warm sleepers, a high chair, snowsuits, hats, mitts, diapers, a winter jacket for herself, etc. Bare necessities really.

We fulfilled as much of the list as we could and today I dropped off all the goods.

The agency was sooooo very appreciative of all the items we provided, it was a little overwhelming. Even being in the CAS offices was a bit more than I could handle. While waiting at reception, I happened to glance at the sign-in sheet and it was full of Mom's coming to visit their kids. I could hear babies crying and it almost put me right over the edge as the gravity of where I was hit me. I'd had a bad morning, too, and it made my frustrations so unbelieveably lame in the grand scheme of things.

As an outsider reading the news, dropping toonies in the Sally Ann container and contributing via corporate paycheque, I am so far away from it all it doesn't even register. Because of that it's easy to forget. Today, being so very close to the sincere appreciation and sadness of it all, it really brought it home. I will never forget that sign-in sheet.

I've been pretty lack about keeping New Years resolutions in the past (I think I've been resolving to learn how to drive standard for about 15 years now), but at some point in the new year I am going to volunteer locally to help families in need, any way I can.

We have so much and I am so grateful for that, moreso now than ever before.


  1. Thanks for sharing Tracy, hopefully this will inspire other people to start this new tradition as well.

    I swear, you spend just as much time and effort choosing things for complete strangers as you would for your own family. And it warms your heart to know you're helping others...that's what it's all about right?

    kudos, and if you find a good volunteer position let me know, i'd love to join you!!

  2. Thanks Cheryl! It was you and your family that inspired us to do it.

    And, yes... I hummed-and-hawed over the colour of the spoons I bought for them. Crazy. :)