Monday, December 13, 2010

So much to be thankful for!

Does anyone else know and LOVE that Josh Groban song 'Thankful'? I don't think it's technically a Christmas song, but it's on his Christmas album and one of my favorite songs.

I was feeling overwhelmed with gratitude this past week and wanted to share the experience. It's no secret that we live in a very low income area in downtown Ogden, and not all but many of the people in the area struggle to make ends meet. Plus there are many families with children and it's not always easy to afford the necessities, let alone extras like Christmas gifts. But a couple weeks ago we had a HUGE donation given to our ward.

A man from the Fruit Heights area donated about 60 large garbage bags full of tags on- brand new- name brand clothing. I'm talking expensive, high quality department store type of clothing! Men's, women's, children's clothing, shoes, socks, hats and gloves, some jewelry and body wash/lotion, perfume... it was unreal. There were around 15 of us organizing it and it still took about 4 hours, if that gives you a picture of how much stuff there was! We were able to go through it and organize it and deliver a lot of it to families in the ward, as well as have some people come to the church and go through it themselves to pick out things for themselves and their families. Even after all that, there was still a room full of clothing left!

We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday and the ward in Fruit Heights brought dinner, sang carols (including Josh Groban's 'Thankful', hence the blog title), and served the food for our party. They also brought some children's toys to add to the clothing that was left over, and everyone at the party had the opportunity to go through the clothes and toys and pick things out for their families. It was so great to see these people, many who wouldn't have been able to afford Christmas gifts for their children, be able to take a bag of new clothes and toys home for Christmas. I went into the kitchen to thank the women for all they had done, and couldn't get the words out without tears falling down my cheeks. It was such a wonderful example of charity and love, and the true meaning of Christmas.

At the end of the dinner a large box was sent home with each family. When John and I got home and opened the box, we just stood in the kitchen staring at it almost speechless.

Oranges, home baked bread, candy, hot chocolate, dry soup mixes, a book and picture of Christ, popcorn, peanut butter, granola, and a reusable grocery bag with personal hygiene products. All of this was sent home with each family, plus there were many of these boxes left over! I am so grateful for people like the man who donated the clothes and the ward who did such a great service for us. Being on the receiving end of someones service really makes me want to do more for other people and pass along that feeling of love. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and stresses that come along with this time of year but none of that is even relevant to what Christmas is supposed to be about. I often forget that, but it's so important to remember! I hope everyone who comes across my blog is having a wonderful Holiday Season and I love you all :)