Invisible Until the Christmas Tide

There are a few articles floating around that have me thinking about people in need. If you haven’t yet seen them, read these two:

 -  Boy Asking For Food

-  Anonymous Donors Pay for Kmart Layaways

I’m in a warm house, with my healthy family, and we are surrounded by all our many belongings. Why me, why us?

What if I was me, what if it was us?

Is it enough to just be thankful. Shouldn’t I be doing something more? And why am I just thinking about this now? People struggle all the time, not just at Christmastime.

Sounds terrible, but sometimes it’s easier when you aren’t thinking about those who are struggling. It’s hard to enjoy your blessings when you are thinking about those who are going without.

The problem is bigger than me.

I’m just one person, what can I do that is significant? Perhaps it is the scope that gets me bogged down. I believe my efforts would be ineffective and that leads me to inaction until I forget.

Then I remembered this old story:

An old man walks along a beach and sees a young boy throwing something into the water. As he approaches, he sees hundreds of starfish lining the beach, washed in from the tide. The young boy is rushing around, throwing the starfish back into the water one by one. The old man asks why he bothers, it’s pointless. There are too many starfish to help them all. As he flings a starfish deep into the water, the young boy replies, “It mattered to that one.”

I can’t solve the problem, but I can do something that matters to someone, right? What do you guys do to help others?


2 Responses to Invisible Until the Christmas Tide

  1. Rachel December 17, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    For the past few years our family has bought Christmas presents and food for the Mission of Hope. My two daughters and I have so much fun shopping for the children that will receive our gifts.

    Our daughters are young. They admire the teenagers in their life, especially their babysitter. We heard that the Mission of Hope was in need of clothing and toys for older children. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun for the girls to buy “teenager things.” Our girls felt like teenagers picking out the clothes and toys for older girls. We bought lots of pink! Pink coats, vests, sweaters, gloves, scarves, jeans,….pink, pink, pink!

    The Mission of Hope published a food list in the Sunday paper. The girls had fun finding the food, looking for the specific can sizes (ounces) requested.

    I agree, it’s overwhelming to think of everyone in need. But if we can each do our part, this world can be a better place for everyone.

    • Heather December 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Great idea, Rachel. Most people focus on little kids – as they should – but I never really thought about the fact that there are teenage kids who have needs as well.

      I looked up Mission of Hope, and for anyone else reading this, it’s an organization that supports families in Appalachia & parts of Kentucky.

      You know, I saw a Diane Sawyer special about the people of Appalachia a while back and I never forgot it. I found a two-minute promo on ABC’s web site. Here’s a link to it. It’s called Children of the Mountains.

      Oprah re-aired it a couple of months ago and I watched it again. It’s heartbreaking stuff. Anyway, I found a list of things Mission of Hope needs. Here’s a link if you are interested.

      Thanks, Rachel for telling us about what you guys do. A lot of teeny-boppers in need are going to be helped because of what you and your girls did. What a great thing to teach your girls.

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