Charitable / Volunteer Work
I've shared previously (in the ornament post) about helping out at Operation Christmas Child. Our Sunday School class always adopts at least one family at Christmas, and I've purchased things for them. I've helped at soup kitchens as part of church groups before, but there is one Christmas where our family helped a family in need that really stands out.
One year Mom had a new employee in her department at the hospital. Mom knew that this person was having trouble making ends meet and that her children were not going to have a very good Christmas. She sent Dad and I out shopping for toys and gifts for the children because she wanted the children to have something that Christmas. I remember picking out dolls for the girls, but I know we got some other toy for each of them too. I think we got a Tonka truck or something similar for the boy and probably something else as well.
I had been doing genealogy for several years, when I made an email contact with a lady doing research on our Harris line. As we began to talk, this newfound cousin was the mother of those kids we helped out. She turned out to be Mom's second cousin twice removed or my third cousin once removed. She was able to share with us how grateful she had been at that point in her life for our generosity that Christmas, and we got caught up on where life had taken her after she moved away.