Bradenton , Florida :
As a single Mom of two young children, I struggled off and on all year. Some days were good, others were bad. What always kept me going was my strong faith. I knew that I had to let go and trust in Him. Every year, I dedicate myself to helping others. Every day if I can in any way. I truly love it. This is something I learned from my Grandfather who passed away many years ago. He was the most important person in my life and he was the most incredible man. We were so close that when he passed I felt like my world had ended. It was like loosing a father.
This year at Thanksgiving and Christmas I did more than I ever have. I just knew I had to. I wanted to do more. I have been so blessed where many others think I haven't because of my bad "luck" as they call it but I am so blessed. I needed to give others HOPE this season, so I did. I helped 8 families this Thanksgiving and Christmas and I can't even describe the overwhelming feeling of seeing their tears and happiness. They didn't need to say a word.
A few days before Christmas my children drew many beautiful pictures to give to others as a random act of kindness. We set out on our journey and randomly gave people these pictures that were drawn. It was amazing to see the looks on people's faces that we felt needed to smile or needed HOPE. My children loved the idea and kept wanting to make more and more pictures to give to people! They were so excited!
Christmas Eve, is my Grandfather's birthday. He had a very strong faith and was always at church, ushering and helping every week. My children and I attend chruch every week and always attend the Christmas Eve service. It's a very emotional night for me. I really can feel my Grandfather's presence every year on that night. After the service my children went to spend the night with their father. This would be my first Christmas Eve/Christmas morning without them. I prayed to God to give me strength and to give me HOPE that this was going to be ok. I can do this.
When I came by my house after church to pick up something, I noticed a Christmas tin can and a note on my doorstep. I thought how nice, someone left cookies! I reached down to pick it up with one hand and realized I couldn't! I thought there has to be 15 pounds of cookies in this thing! I set my purse, etc down and picked it up and opened it. My jaw dropped!!! I read the note about how this family saves all year. They prayed to God to lead them to a family to give this to and it was me. I was just in pure shock. It took two days for it to really sink in. I told a church friend what happened and she said, "you are always helping others every day and now it's your turn." I have never had anything like this happen to me. It's truly an amazing gift!!!!!! I want to thank the family who did this and let them know my heart over flows with joy at what they did! God Bless your family!!! I will pay it forward again and again!!