The local radio station, 101.3 KDWB, does a program every year from Thanksgiving through Christmas called Christmas Wish. People submit stories of people or families that are in dire need, through no fault of their own, who are not receiving help from any other organization. The person who submitted each wish typically reads their story over the radio, and then the radio personnel surprise the recipient with items needed to help them out.
As you can probably imagine, there are a lot of tears shed while listening to this program. This morning, they discussed how they had aired a Christmas wish last week for a family whose eight year old son had a kidney transplant from his father when he was a baby and it was rejected; his family is now seeking a donor for their son to receive a second kidney transplant so that he can be a typical eight year old boy.
The waterworks were flowing, especially when the radio station reported that since airing that story, the hospital where the boy is staying, has received over 1,000 calls from people requesting the testing to see if they are a match! Talk about the ultimate gift.
KDWB does a great job screening the Christmas wish submissions they receive because they want the donations from their listeners to go to those who truly deserve it and will be appreciative. Therefore, they will not give to anyone who needs help due to someone going to jail or the use of drugs, alcohol, etc. The key being that the situation must be “through no fault of their own.” People also cannot submit a request for their own benefit.
Many of the people in need have lost loved ones and there isn’t enough income or insurance to provide for the family or there are medical bills or health issues creating financial hardship.
In listening to the Christmas wishes this year, I feel so fortunate that I could not think of anyone close to me whom I would feel the need to submit a wish. My friends and family are healthy and have been able to have the basic necessities plus some luxuries. Everyone sometimes feels like they’re struggling financially, but if we truly look at the basic needs, we’ve been able to provide those for ourselves and our families. We have roofs over our heads, food to eat, warm clothes, transportation and the love and support of our family members and friends.
Every year, I make an effort to give to someone in need. For years, I’ve been donating toys to Toys For Tots. Last year, I purchased several hats and pairs of gloves to donate to a local bank that was doing a hat and mitten drive.
Last night, I was discussing Christmas gifts with my mom and was worried about the fact that I have fewer funds to use on Christmas presents this year. I didn’t want others to be disappointed that I was spending less on presents this year than previous years. Listening to Christmas Wish this morning reminded me that my worries are so minor. My loved ones will still be getting gifts from me; it’s the families that are struggling to afford food and the children who will not receive any gifts this year that we should be thinking about.
So, instead of worrying about how others will feel about the gifts I give them, I’m going to focus on giving a little bit more to those truly in need this holiday season. It might mean a few extra toys to Toys For Tots, more hats and mittens, buying for someone from a giving tree or donating food to the local food shelf.
My Christmas wish would be for each of my friends and family members to make a donation, whether it be time, money or a gift, to someone who truly needs help this Christmas. A lot of good can be accomplished with little cost or effort on our parts and it will make you feel great.