Making Spirits Bright- Christmas Card Campaign
When I was a young girl my family would visit the nursing home near my house nearly every Sunday after church. We’d spend an hour or two chatting with residents, many of whom had nobody in their life, and others who did have a family, but whose family never visited.
One of the residents I became close to was a man named Fred. Fred was pushing 106-years-old and was so very alone. He outlived his wife and kids, his parents and siblings, and his surviving family had busy lives of their own and not much time to visit. I would sit with Fred for countless hours, holding his hand and listening to his stories of life as a young man. Eventually, it dawned on me that I should take a tape recorder on my visits and record Fred’s audio history. When he passed away, I gave those tapes to the nursing home who then gave them to his surviving family members.
My life was profoundly changed by visiting nursing homes as a young person. Whether it was going on Sunday after church, or the trips my youth group would take each December to sing Christmas carols, I grew to look forward to my visits. I learned that if I could get past the sometimes sobering visuals, and actually listened, I could learn so many wonderful things from the incredible people who’d shaped our world. Each person had an amazing life story to tell and they were so happy to have someone to spend time with. They looked forward to the visits as much as I did.
Before our son was born, my husband and I agreed that it was important that John be raised to have a tender and gracious heart. We agreed that we want John to know how to fend for his own, but to also have softness, love, and acceptance for all people regardless of age, race or religion. We decided we would carry on the tradition of visiting nursing homes and that we’d do it with our boy.
You know the lull between the present opening and dinner on Christmas Day? My family uses that time to visit local nursing homes to take Christmas cards to elderly people who might be alone or lonely. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for someone to feel forgotten, or as though they’re a burden to their families or to society- especially during the holidays. My family believes that each and every life is precious and valuable and nobody should ever have to feel all alone.
If you want to send a Christmas card* for us to hand out to someone who could use some holiday cheer, my family would so appreciate the help. The more cards we have, the more joy we’ll be able to spread!
If you’d like to send a Christmas card, I need it to be in my hands no later than Monday, December 18, 2017. You can mail the card (feel free to write as much or little as you’d like, remembering to keep your words joyful) or drop it off to:
c/o 98.1 The Hawk
59 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
Please feel free to spread the word with others who you think might be interested in helping our family spread some love this Christmas!
* Several people have asked if they can donate boxes or individual blank cards and the answer is YES! The cards don’t have to be signed, but if you’re planning to donate unsigned cards, I need them no later than Monday, December 4th so that my family has enough time to sign them. Also, we’re happy to accept handmade cards and drawings from kids, as well as postcards, as long as they’re Christmas themed.