This post may not be filled with a pretty project or amazing pictures, yet it is probably one of the most important posts I have ever written. Today is about giving back to our community and sharing our joy with others who need it.
I’ll be the first to admit I can easily get consumed by daily life, chasing after my toddler, being a wife, keeping up with friends and family, writing this blog, and fulfilling other obligations with church and mom’s groups. Not to mention we are right in the middle of the Holiday season when we are at our busiest. But in the midst of all the crafting, decorating, baking, shopping, gift wrapping and parties, it’s a time when we should be thinking about GIVING. And not just giving to anyone, giving to those who really need it.
When I started this blog almost 1 1/2 ago, I never in a million years would have imagined where it would take me and the opportunities it would bring. I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible brands over the past few months but partnering with World Market for their Share the Joy campaign has to be one of the highlights of my blogging journey. And if you don’t believe me, I literally have tears in my eyes as I write this post because of what this whole experience has meant to me.
When I first found out about the Share the Joy campaign, I knew I wanted to put together a gift basket for all of the amazing women who are part of the Everett Gospel Mission’s Women & Children Shelter. Our church works closely with the organization and many of the women attend the church regularly and are involved with our Celebrate Recovery Program. I have so much respect and admiration for all of the women, they have gone through so much in their lives and have experienced things I can’t even imagine going through. The least I could do is give them a little something during the Holidays to help SHARE THE JOY.
Before I went shopping at World Market, I contacted the CEO of the organization, Sylvia Anderson, and asked what the women would appreciate for Christmas. I wanted to make sure that what I bought was both needed and wanted by the ladies. We decided on a big basket full of accessories, jewelry, lotions and home decor items because every girl wants to feel special during the Holidays! Sylvia was so excited about the donation that she arranged a Christmas party for the ladies the evening I dropped off the basket. ( Oh and by the way, Sylvia is amazing and so wonderful to work with. She does so so so much. She rocks.)
Fulfilling the shelter’s wish list was easy at World Market. They have so many beautiful accessories, lotions and bath gels, and small home decor items. It was so hard to choose from all of the options!
Since the gifts were going to be handed out to each of the ladies during the Christmas party, I wanted to make sure I had a gift for every attendee. So instead of doing a few big items, I went with a bunch of small items so every one could bring something home with them. I took my mom and my daughter with me on the shopping trip and we had a blast. My mom is the one who taught me how to stretch a dollar and boy did we do good! We got 47 items for $150 and every lady at the party went home with something.
We chose several bracelets, beautiful mugs, printed tissues, jewelry boxes and trendy gloves. The heart shaped box was actually one of the favored items at the party!
Sylvia put together a small Christmas party for the ladies the night we dropped oft the basket. She had all of the ladies in the shelter gather for a Holiday raffle. Each attendee received a few raffle tickets and we raffled off each item that was in the gift basket. We turned the donation into a fun game night that brought smiles and laughter to the whole room. I held up an item like Vanna White and Sylvia read off each ticket and we watched the ladies jump up and down when they won. It brought so much joy to my heart to see the Christmas spirit fill the room. The girls got so into it, they loved all of the gifts and were so excited to see what everyone received.
Every one went home with a gift or two that night but I felt like I went home with so much more than that.
As I was leaving for the night, Sylvia (pictured above) turned to me and said, “see it doesn’t take much to bring joy to someone’s life”. The joy I felt that night didn’t just stay in that room, it has stayed with me. To this day, whenever I see my mom we can’t stop talking about how much fun we had that night and how much it meant to us. It was perfect. It was the start of a tradition that we hope to continue on our own in the future.
Right now as our lives become even busier with the Holidays, I encourage all of you to take a second and think about how you can give back to your community. And if you are in the greater Seattle area and are looking for an organization to donate to this season, please consider giving to the Everett Gospel Mission, they have an amazing program that is saving lives in our community.
In the spirit of giving, World Market is hosting a Share The Joy Sweepstakes where you can enter to win $5,000 for YOU and A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE!
Share the Joy Sweepstakes
- Grand Prize package includes: A $5,000 American Express Gift Card for you and $5,000 for a charity of your choice.
- You could be one of 5 winners (one winner per week).
- The Share the Joy Sweepstakes ends 12/21/12.
- Enter www.bit.ly/LSoF1q.