My 14 hour day has come to a close! I woke up and ran out the door this morning at 8:30 to arrive at Council Chambers for the BIG Wrapping Day for Orange Santa!! I was completely amazed at the amount of toys and the great quality of toys that were donated by our local citizens. We had so many wonderful women, men and children there today wrapping, wrapping, wrapping away! We had Christmas music humming in the background, baked goodies from volunteers, hot coffee and Lots of Fun! There is just something about being in an environment like today that just feeds so much of my soul! Everyone was smiling, humming, laughing and besides the music, you could hear the scissors cutting, paper crinkling and tape being pulled and torn.
We had to leave around 3:00 to go shopping for gifts that were on wish lists that we didn't have any donated items for. NOW THAT WAS FUN! Erika, Cindy, Catherine and I were running through Walmart like little elves filling four shopping carts with everything from makeup and Longhorns Tees to CD players, Scooters and Bikes! We had about 70 families we served and approximately 200 children. Each child was given about 5 gifts, the older ones 3-4 gifts. I've NEVER seen so many presents in one place. We turned the Council Chambers into a little workshop and by the time we all walked out of there tonight and shut the lights off it looked just like it did when we arrived and seemed like it was all a dream!
I've wanted my whole life to be part of doing things like this and finally at 31 years old I really am! It should be harder to do it, especially having two small children and a hectic schedule but it just isn't. When you are doing such great things for other people, everyone wants to jump in to help in whatever way they can. Adrianna even came and wrapped a couple gifts all by herself today and that made my day even more terrific! What on earth did I do to be so lucky to be living a life as fulfilling as this? Don't get me wrong, I have financial struggles, worry about everything "women" love to worry and obsess about, and other things going on , BUT none of that even matters when you're filling it with all the "good stuff" and don't waste your time on the petty things or the things you just can't change.
Going through the applications for Orange Santa and reading the reasons why people are applying, getting a glimpse into their hardships, reading little kids' letters to Santa, ABSOLUTELY BREAKS MY HEART! I will tell you, this is one of the best things to do during Christmas time. It helps you get out of the "BUY BUY BUY" mindset and more into the meaning of the holiday. For any of you that have always wanted to be part of something like this, PLEASE get involved in your local community "Santa" programs next year. You will be totally amazed at the joy it will bring into your life! It's always so easy to say that you think it's such a wonderful thing to do and you would love to do it, but the reality is that in order for these things to be successful, YOU need to be there volunteering in some way or another. Every person counts. We had two little girls around 8 and 10 with their mom today for HOURS, just shopping along, sorting, and wrapping...those sweet little girls, so giving so young...I hope and pray that Adrianna has that same heart and I will do everything to encourage her and guide her in the right direction and definitely lead her by example.
That is why I am so thankful to Resonate for being the avenue to get me to this place and provide me with the tools to do what I've always wanted to do, the things we ALL deep down desire at some level.
I'm sitting here with sore feet and a sore back wondering how everyone else is feeling as they lay down and end their day. Do they feel as wonderful inside as I do? Are they just so ridiculously happy and amazed at what went on today? Women, Men of all ages, children, pregnant moms, moms with babies that didn't sleep through the night, dads at home going nuts all day without mom there to take over, all the givers, all the supporters, facilitators, You are ALL amazing! There is NO place I would have rather been today! Now, we have photos with Santa at McDonalds tomorrow, gift pickup on Wednesday and Delivery Day on Thursday! The next few days will be crazy, but I THRIVE on crazy!
Chris got home after driving 25 hours, and sleeping only an hour and a half! I met him and my sister at home for some spaghetti and meatballs that my mother in law made for us for a very quick dinner, put the kids down set showers and towels up for Beni and Chris and went back to
wrap things up with the other volunteers so I can't wait to wake up with my family which now includes my sister every morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, life is great!