Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christmas Jar Story: 'We decided to go to Prince William Hospital'

Haymarket, Virginia:

My daughters and I started our "Christmas Jar"
tradition in 2009. The first year we literally
drove around the city of Manassas on Christmas
Eve for hours trying to figure out who to give the
jar to. We went to the homeless shelter, it was a
ghost town; we staked out toy stores looking for
just the right family. Then, we decided to go to
Prince William Hospital. We went into the ER
and told the administrator at the front desk what
we were doing. With tears in her eyes and after
offering us some of her Grandma's homemade
fudge, she contacted a public relations liason who
was in the hospital at the time. The woman came
and met me and my daughters. She agreed to take
the jar and see to it that it got to just the right
person. I told her that we wanted to remain
anonymous but that I would give her my contact
information so that she could tell me the story
behind the person she had given the jar to. A
couple of weeks later I received a letter from the
hospital administrator. She said that she had given
the jar to a young single mom who had no partner
and little family support. The mom had told her she
was going to put the money toward a car seat for her
newborn child. The letter also told of how the story
of the Christmas Jar had spread through the
hospital and how inspirational it had been to
all who heard it.

In 2010, we again got our Christmas Jar and book
ready (we always give a copy of the book with the
jar). About two weeks before Christmas, I got
a call that my dog groomer would have to cancel
our appointment because her husband had
committed suicide. My dog groomer is a young
woman with very young children. My children
both came to me at different times and said that
they believed we should give the jar to this
woman and her young children. That was
easier said than done. We insist on remaining
anonymous and my groomer of course knew who
I was and who my oldest daughter was. However,
she had never meet my younger daughter who had
just turned twelve. We got the address and waiting
until dark on Christmas Eve and headed out. When
we got close to the house, I turned off the interior
lights in our car so that when the door opened you
couldn't see who was inside. My youngest daughter
went to the door. When my dog groomer answered
the door my daughter gave her the jar and book and
said this is from my family. She asked who that
family was and my daughter replied, "I am not
allowed to tell you". The young woman said well
can I have a hug then. They hugged and my
daughter returned to our car. Another successful

This year, I have two jars to give away. My mother
passed away on 10/22/11 in New Market, Virginia.
While going through her things I discovered cans
of collected change. My daughter, now 13, as soon
as she saw the cans said, "I think MawMaw would
want this change to go into a Christmas Jar". So the
story continues....I will check back in the New Year
to let you know how the two 2011 jars went!

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