Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 103 Starting the Season on a "Good" Note

A few details....

Yesterday's running total left off after lunch, at 557 calories and 2 bottles of water

Dinner was 3 ounces corned beef, 213 calories
2 whole roasted carrots sprayed with olive oil 16 calories
roasted red potatos, diced, 3/4 cup, sprayed with olive oil 305 calories
One piece of Baileys' flavored chocolate candy 54 calories
two more bottles of water
Glass of white wine, 120 calories

The day's total: 1265 calories
Water: 66.8


Last night I got out there and started my Christmas shopping. A little my job, we have an annual charity event called Operation Good Cheer, started by one of the employees, back in the early '70's. The event has grown substantially over the years. The Office of Child and Family Services of Michigan provides to Operation Good Cheer the first names, ages, and a brief bio of children who have been placed in foster care, residential treatment facilities or group homes across the state. These kids range in age from babies through 17+, and are pretty much not going to have much of a Christmas. Operation Good Cheer asks the kids or their caregivers to provide a "wish list", and then employees select a child to sponsor for the event. Unfortunately, the older kids are usually the last to be selected. I'm not really sure why that is...maybe some folks find it more difficult to shop for teens than for little ones. But I've got three teens, so I picked a young lady that is 17, in residential treatment for abuse/neglect, and has "refugee" status.

:( :( :( 

It breaks my heart to think of these kids who may never have known safety or family or love in their lives.

So last night I went shopping. I was both happy and sad as I went. The young lady that I shopped for asked for things like a winter coat, scarf, gloves and hat, and a warm, fuzzy blanket. My kids take these things for granted. And I consider these to be necessities, not gifts. So as I shopped, I went with a budget in mind so I don't get myself into a financial bind, but as I picked out the coat, blanket and accessories, I just felt compelled to get her something that was a "want", not a need. Christmas should be about making someone feel special, not an obligation. I ended up blowing my budget, spending twice as much as I thought I would, and getting all the items on her list, plus a couple more that I picked based on her biographical info. We won't be able to see her when she opens them, so I tucked little notes into the items I bought, wishing her well, and sending love and hugs. It seems so inadequate. So the sad/happy part was about feeling sad for her situation, and hoping that as an almost-adult, she'll have a few more options open to her to have a better life. The happy part was about feeling blessed that I have a job that allows me to buy her some much wanted and needed items that may make her life a little bit warmer, that may bring a smile to her face. I hope so...

An added bonus of my job is that my employer allows us to use 2 workdays per year doing some kind of charity/community service, on paid company time. So tomorrow, all of us who are participating in Operation Good Cheer will be spending the day at a small local airport, sorting all the gifts into piles. Saturday morning, those piles will be loaded onto planes (donated) and flown all over the state (by pilots who volunteer) to be delivered to the kids. It is truly amazing to see a hangar filled to the rafters with wrapped Christmas presents, just waiting to be loaded up and whisked away.

That must be what the North Pole looks like...

I'm humbled by my blessings....


  1. I love hearing about the good work that people do. It always amazes me...: )