Saturday, November 19, 2011

ELVES: Take the "S" Out of Selves

Francesca (left) and Sammi were on stocking duty.
Last weekend my children totally got the meaning of the classic adage: "It's better to give then to receive." While I have learned that there's also great merit to receiving, as a mother who tries to teach compassion to her kids, it is a really good thing when a child can experience the spirit of giving firsthand rather than just be told about its benefits.

Renee gathered all the fixins...
and hung the stockings with care.
 We brought some holiday cheer into the home of a family-in-need. Guided by our friends who did all the planning and purchasing, we entered the family's home like a band of elves. This act of kindness actually began some time ago when the family, whose oldest daughter Deana was diagnosed with  leukemia, applied for aid from the Arielle Anacker Cancer Foundation. The  Foundation, created by my friend Diane Trivelli in memory of her daughter Arielle who, at the age of 11, lost a 3-year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma, has been helping in many ways to ease the financial strain put upon the family.

Renee, friend to me and Diane, was touched by the family's plight, and wanted to also help. She raised money to buy a kitchen table, new Christmas decorations, and individual presents for the family members. Her daughter Francesca used her own savings to buy a welcome mat for the front door.

We worked like elves for 2 hours. We put a crisp red cloth on top of the table, put up the tree, flung some tinsel around, and hung a wreath on the front door. The girls personalized felt stockings with glitter glue. We all signed a holiday card to the family and Diane made out a special one to Deana in celebration of her last chemo treatment. And then we waited to surprise them.

A new place to gather 'round.
Well, not all of us waited. Dylan and I unfortunately couldn't stay, but Sammi stayed as the Dagmi rep. She reported that the homecoming was "sad and beautiful" and that everyone hugged, and that the mom and oldest daughter were crying happy tears. They loved the kitchen table and  kept touching it. "You should have been there," she said. "It was awesome!"

1 comment:

Ginny said...

So sweet Jane---Thanks for being someone who teaches and gives compassion---I'm sure that family was appreciative more than you'll ever know!