December Kindness: Adopt-a-family

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our family decided to “adopt-a-family” this year for Christmas. We spoke to the Salvation Army and learned that there were over 1200 families in Erie alone that had filled out “adoption” applications for the season this year. Adoption includes children’s gifts and the Holiday meal. We know it has been a tough year for all families, so in the true spirit of the season; we happily adopted a family of three; a single mom, and her two sons; Andre and Matthew. Their wishlist included things like a remote control car and a train set. Our contact at the Salvation Army mentioned several times that what the boys really need are pajamas and socks.
So, on our day off, my little family headed to the bustling shopping center with the stranger’s wishlist in hand. And we had a blast buying for these little boys we’ll probably never meet. Brandon must have spent 15 minutes in the remote control car section of Toys ‘R Us, only to return and announce proudly, “Ok, is this the most badass car over there.” The little brother needed to have an equally awesome train set and we were still able to buy them a few extra toys and batteries too. I morphed into Mom mode and went the most practical route and bought the kids two sets of jammies and ten pairs of socks each. We left those shops with aching arms for all of the surprises for our two little mystery guys.

Our next stop was the grocery store to purchase their Holiday morning meal.  Our adopted family will be doing some fine dining - with even some sparkling cider and hot chocolate for toasting!  I wrote out a card for the momma and included a Ham Pot Pie recipe so hopefully they can get more than just one meal out of the groceries we purchased. 

When I asked the Salvation Army contact whether or not we should buy something for the mom, she told us, “Some people do; like lotions or candles; but all of our mothers rather you spend the money on the kids.” And that’s when I really felt connected to this family; to this woman that I’ve never met. On the outside, we live very different lives; I have a son who will receive too many gifts this Christmas and she has gone through the trouble to fill out an application to ask strangers for help, just so her sons can wake up to a few gifts under the tree. But despite our differences, we are both mothers who want a Christmas that brings joy to our children’s eyes; which really makes us just the same inside. I included in her card, “From one mom to another, know that you are NOT alone.”

We loved this month's kindness; it feels good to know that somewhere in Erie there are two little boys with full bellies and smiling faces, and a very grateful mom.

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