Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Jar Story: 'All year I was on the lookout'

Mansfield, Ohio:

On Thursday, Dec. 23, we delivered our families 1st Christmas jar. In December 2009, my mom had given me a copy of "Christmas Jars" and "Christmas Jars Reunion". A couple days later, I sat down to read and didn't stop until both books were finished. While reading them, I smiled and cried at the same time. Right then I knew that a "christmas jar" was something my newly formed family would share in every year.

By January 1st 2009, our empty jar was sitting on a shelf in our kitchen. Slowly but steadily, we watched as our jar filled with coins found in pockets at the end of a day, coins collected from the bottom of my purse and the occasional coin that we found on the ground in the parking lot of a store. This jar was filled with love, for each and every coin placed in it was from the hands of my husband, my 2 year old twin boys and myself. Out of curiosity I wondered how much you can save in a years worth of pocket change, my sister counted it for was over $115.00. From here my mom and both sisters felt the magic from our christmas jar and in the end our jar totaled over $245.00. I can't explain what my heart felt like, knowing that we did this and would possibly be able to help someone, even if it was just a little. All year I was on the "look out" for the family whom we would give our first jar to. At the beginning of Dec 2010, I was starting to get nervous because we still had not figured out whom our jar would go to. We wanted it to be perfect. A couple days later, the answer came like God had sent it himself, which I know he did. Through my husband, I had found out that a woman I had worked with 7 years ago, was going to be donating her kidney to her father this Dec 2010. This selfless sacrifice of love to give the gift of life to her father was all the answer I needed, in knowing where our first jar was going. Her and her husband have 4 young children and I knew that she would be off of work for some time, to heal. We knew it wasn't a whole lot of money, but we thought that if she could share such a big part of herself, we could share what we had with her and her family.

On Dec 23rd, my husband and I packed the boys up in the car and made our way to their home. We drove by once and then circled back. We turned off our lights and pulled in the driveway. I got out with our "christmas jar", a copy of "Christmas Jars",the novel, and our anonymous letter. I ran up to the front door, placed my things on the stoop, rang the door twice and bolted back to the car! We turned on our lights and backed up to the end of the driveway. A minute or so had past, then I saw someone come to the side door, open it and step out. She was slightly leaned forward, squinting, trying to figure out who was there. We had backed up far enough so that she could not recognize us (it had been years since I had seen her). Once I realized she wasn't going to the front door, I quickly rolled down my car window and happily shouted "Go look at your front door" Smiling, we then drove away. Merry Christmas to our 1st Christmas jar family.

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