With the holiday season drawing to an end, we have spent weeks hearing about the ‘season of giving’, ’tis better to give than to receive’, and many of the other numerous phrases that are attached to the holidays and this time of year. Every year you hear about the amazing donations to the Salvation Army or local shelters during the holiday season and it gives everyone a wonderful feeling and a renewed sense of hope that there are still kind hearts out there. While I find all this so very wonderful, I can’t help but wonder why it is that this sense of giving only shows during the holiday season? Is it out of a sense of guilt? Is it because people think that the holidays are the only time for giving? Or is it that the holidays themselves seem to bring out the best in people?
These last few years, I have been on the receiving end of generous help when I needed it, as well as offering help to others also in need. But it has been this holiday season that I have seen so many wonderful displays of caring hearts and generosity, and in reality, neither had anything to do with the holidays.
The first amazing display of people coming together to help that I have been blessed to be a part of this year involved a beautiful little girl that unfortunately suffers from a very rare disease with no known cure. I received an email from a friend, asking me to vote for Hannah’s Hope Fund to receive a $250K grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project. I read this little girl’s story and wanted to help in every way I could. I emailed my friend back and offered to write an article to try and bring more awareness to this little girl’s battle. I had not heard anything, until I received an email from Hannah’s mother thanking me for wanting to help and sharing with me their story. I wrote an article, Hannah’s Christmas and New Year’s Wish – Hoping for a Christmas Angel, sharing Hannah’s story and asking people to vote. I published this story, and asked all of my friends via Facebook, Twitter, email, and every other way possible if they could please share Hannah’s story. I was deeply touched by the wonderful people, who had never met Hannah, who joined in her fight and helped me spread the word. It was amazing to me how so many people could come together to help make a difference. As of the time this article was written, the grant competition is not yet over, but the Hannah’s Hope Fund is currently in 2nd place and as long as they remain in the top 2, they will receive that $250K grant.
The other amazing display of the caring hearts that are still among us came today, after the Christmas holiday is over. I was witness to the most amazing gathering of people, most who have never met in person, come together to help someone who had just received a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This woman, Rissa, is a member of the Y!CN network and is a fellow freelance writer. While I have only been a member of the community for a little over a month, I am amazed to see the sense of family created between this group of writers. Within hours of finding out about the diagnosis, writers were coming together to offer support, prayers, and words of encouragement, as well as creating fundraising opportunities to help Rissa and her family take care of the medical bills that her treatment will bring. The feeling of togetherness and family that was shown between my fellow writers was amazing to me. Many of them had never met Rissa, or even spoken with her before, but she was part of our writing family, and like any family, we take care of each other.
While both of these events did take place during the holiday season, it is my hope that this sense of giving and caring will continue throughout the year. When the holidays can bring about such amazing displays of generosity and giving, I would like to believe that we can all work together to keep that feeling alive throughout the entire year. When you see someone in need, and are able to offer assistance, please think about these 2 stories of giving, and do what you can to help those who need it. While so many people are looking for something to make them feel better, there is no better feeling than knowing you have truly helped someone.
For more information on either Hannah’s Hope Fund or the Pepsi Refresh Project for Hannah’s Hope
For more information on Rissa and fellow writers fundraising – Rissa’s Battle