Round Rock, Texas:
I grew up on welfare (my mom was a single parent) and we were often the recipients of someone's generosity. My mom told me in later years, that if it had not been for our TV Repairman one year we would not have had a Christmas. When I have the "means" I have tried to repay that TV repairman time and time again with doing something for someone else.
In 2002 after finishing with being a volunteer for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics (The Olympics were a dream since I was young, but never thought I would ever get to go OR be part of them). A week after the games, I learned my office was shutting down in our city. I NEVER thought I would ever have a hard time getting a job....but I was soooo wrong!!
Since 2002 I have scrimped by on very low paying jobs. Luckily there was only me to worry about. Something has always been missing from my life...my family. I left home at 18 when my mom told me if I left all her problems would be solved. My supervisor put me on a Greyhound bus for Salt Lake City, UT with 2 suitcases and $200, "at least now you will have a chance at life" she told me. So life has never been easy but bearable.
Two years ago I moved to Texas (after being laid off from a job I loved). I came to the area where my ancestors had come in 1821 to try and reconnect with my extended family, do genealogy and maybe figure out who I was. I didn't know to do that. It took forgetting about myself and learning to serve others.
I only have a small part time job that gets me by for right now. I rent a room and only cook with a microwave and small fridge. My car has broken down, and I rely on friends and people at my church to take me to the store and other errands. I have learned I don't need much to get by. Yesterday my friend took me to the store and when I returned home, there was a Christmas Card from my uncle in California. That is what caught my eye....not the jar full of coins. I was then told there is something else for you. I picked up the book "The Christmas Jars" and looked at the jar with all the coins and said, "This too?" I was a bit overwhelmed.
I had no idea what a Christmas Jar was and so I Googled it!! I love the idea of the spare change in a jar and giving it to someone at Christmas. I have already started mine for next year. I felt like this was truly a reminder for me. Most of the time I am pretty good about trying to do for others and not dwell on me. But the holidays have been hard and I found myself into a meltdown. I know this life is not about us, it is about reaching out and serving others where we can. I am still reading the book but I did want to say thank you for planting such a wonderful seed in my heart.
In a couple of friends I have talked to, one said they don't have spare change, "they use it" and another said, "They do this and then go out to eat!" They don't get it!!! But I do.....I wish it was Christmas next year so I could tell you what I did!! Thank you again for helping me find another way to give back!
Oh there was a Target Gift card for $40, $26 in bills, and over $365 in coins. When I left Utah and moved to Texas I sold everything. EVERYTHING! This will help me buy new pots and pans and dishes when I go "home".