Second thoughts: You did it! Holiday program succeedsThe Sharing Families Program works year after year because of generosity. While that includes giving money, it is mostly generosity of time, concern and spirit.
By: Judy Wiff, River Falls Journal
He called at 9:30 Friday morning.
An update for Sharing Families had been posted online: With less than a week to go, the holiday gift program was falling short. Two of 50 families were without sponsors.
Even using carryover funds from 2006, we had $800 less than we needed to buy grocery packages for all the families.
First the man asked for an explanation of the program. Then he asked, “What will you do?”
I said we would definitely find a way to buy basic gifts for the unsponsored families, but perhaps we would have to order smaller food packages.
“I don’t want you to do that,” he said simply, and promised to drop off a $1,000 check.
And he did.
Even more remarkably, he was one of several to step forward to make sure the program met its goals.
One woman came down to sort and shop. After working for hours, she left behind a substantial check.
Others — including a work group that had already sponsored other families — called to take the two remaining families.
A man with roots in River Falls called from Montana to alert us to watch the mail for a check. Another work group promised money raised at its Christmas party.
One bank — and probably other businesses — matched employee donations. Then the employees shopped for gifts.
A board member solicited a series of local businesses, and they gave generously.
I’m making it sound like I’m talking about money. But that’s not it.
The Sharing Families Program works year after year because of generosity. While that includes giving money, it is mostly generosity of time, concern and spirit.
Though there’s no way to keep track of the numbers. It’s a safe guess — figuring conservatively at least two per recipient family — that hundreds of people shopped for clothing, toys and household items to fill this year’s wish lists.
They all did it anonymously for people who live in their community, but whom they probably don’t know. Or you might know them. The recipient families may attend your church or go to school with your children.
For the past 19 years, Sharing Families has made Christmas better for needy local families. You did it again this year!
In this, the 20th year, the program served 50 families. That’s over 200 children, parents and grandparents.
As I write this, the program is winding down for the year. Only one set of gifts remains to be delivered.
Let us share part of an e-mail from a woman after she dropped off things her group had bought for a family:
“My cup ran over with joy when I saw all the other donations! What a wonderful town we live in. Thank you for all of your hard work…”
We echo those sentiments. It takes a village to raise a child. But it takes a community — working together — to make this program work every year.
Once again you demonstrated the power of that community. It is an honor to live among you.More from around the web