~26 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDESS~
It is hard to describe how emotionally moved I am….this giving experience has meant more to me than anything I have ever given in my life. I start this post off, though, saddened by the horrible tragedy that happened in Newtown CT….to imagine the unimagineable….it just is something we are all unable to process, understand and feel scarred from…so giving this week has helped all of us heal maybe a little…or at the very least…feel good inside by giving.
At the beginning of this week…on Monday, December 17, 2012…my heart broke once again when one of my families indicated that they truly were unable to celebrate Christmas…Christmas Day would be “just another Tuesday” for them. It affected me so much…and I really felt the need to make a little bit of a difference in this families life. You can read more about the entire gift giving week in my posts below.
And what started out as a very simple list of toys I planned to purchase…turned into the most amazing and incredible Christmas Miracle performed by family, friends and mostly strangers to me…the outpouring of people NEEDING to give..was massive. I believe the destruction suffered from super-storm Sandy…and the horrific loss in Newtown CT….caused people to really feel the need to “pay it forward”…and give back to people in need. My friend Patricia said…”it is people needing to perform 26 acts of kindness”….in memory of the children and adults who were killed in Newtown. She’s right…people were thanking me…not only thanking me for organizing this…thanking me for allowing them to be a part of this Christmas Magic.
When we gave:
D and R’s mom had a hard time holding it together…she kept saying “I can’t believe you did this for me”….she sobbed in my arms as the others started bringing the gifts in from the two packed cars. She looked at the gift cards…the money given so generously from my neighbor…and the gifts as they came in the door…and she almost looked weak to me…as if all of the emotional joy she had…sucked her insides in so much…she barely could keep her strength…I told my friend Patricia as I headed outside to help bring in gifts…”Mom is sobbing inside…she’s trying to come out”…..and then she did…and me, Patricia….the uncle and the daddy carried all of the gifts in…(grandma was not home)….and each trip in through the door…I really felt the magic in the air…felt so much happiness in my heart..giving feels real good.
After giving the gifts to the family…I sat in my husband’s truck for a few minutes…feeling so thankful for all that I have…but feeling more thankful that I was able to make a small difference..in this families’ life…and as I sat there…I looked at the list…the list of cities, towns and states that I read to the family. When we first came in before we gave the gifts..this is what I said:
“Mom, dad…and T….Patricia and I really care about your family….and we wanted to make sure that you all had a wonderful Christmas together. I felt so moved to help you…I emailed friends…and posted on my FB….and people just kept giving. I want you to know that what you are about to receive was given from people all over the United States of America.” Mom’s eyes just welled up at this point….and we hugged a hug full of love, strength and hope.
Well…back in the truck again…I looked at the list…and decided to count how many cities, towns and states I had on the list…and you know what…there were 26….yes 26 cities, towns and states in total on my little list…26 connections were made…and I started to cry…thinking about the 26 children and adults in Newtown…and thinking about this family who just were given a true Christmas Miracle.
So I thought…I’m going to map out the locations of the 26 places…and each place will be given a name…a name of a child or adult who lost their life in CT….so read the list below…and find your town, city or state…and know that your random act of kindness was given in memory of the person listed.
Thank you to all for coming together…and helping us put the meaning back in Christmas…share this story on your FB page…your email…however we can spread the word that a small group of people: friends…family…and strangers…came together and made a big difference for one little family on Long Island…
26 Random Acts of kindness:
Miller Place, NY: Charlotte Bacon
Sound Beach, NY: Daniel Barden
Shoreham, NY: Catherine V. Hubbard
Groton, MA: Olivia Engel
Newark, NJ: Josephine Gay
Danbury, CT: Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Holbrook, NY: Dylan Hockley
Wading River, NY: Madeleine F. Hsu
Rocky Point, NY: Rachel Davino
Hauppauge, NY: Chase Kowalski
Centereach, NY: Jesse Lewis
Port Jefferson Station, NY: James Mattioli
Norwood, NJ: Grace McDonnell
Londonderry, NH: Emilie Parker
LA, California: Jack Pinto
Burlington, MA, Noah Pozner
Florida: Caroline Previdi
Middle Island, NY: Jessica Rekos
Villanova, PA: Avielle Richman
Levittown, PA: Lauren Russeau
Voorhees, NJ: Victoria Soto (person of the year)
Upper Montclair, NJ: Benjamin Wheeler
Wheaton, IL: Allison N. Wyatt
Stony Brook, NY: Anne Marie Murphy
And during this Christmas season I am so glad to have started something so incredible. And to see and feel the energy we all have…energy full of hope and love….and to see on the map above…how we were all connected during this past week of December 17, 2012…and how this connection….really did something good.
God Bless you all and the 26 children and adults above…