Do you do an Advent calendar? You know that cute little surprise-a-day calendar that kids love, where each day from December 1 - 25, your littles get to open the day and find a piece of candy or fun treat? Well our client spotlight for the month of December had a true spirited twist on this long lived tradition. Instead of sweet treats, Christal Jolly replaced each day with a task of kindness, gratitude, or charity for her two children to perform with her each day. I truly can't think of a better way to teach your children about the real meaning of Christmas. Today we are going to share her list from the year, her recommendation on how you too can do this next year, and what lessons she and her children took away from their adventure this holiday.
But first, let me tell you a little bit about Christal and her usual day to day. Because we all know the holidays can be busy and stressful and we find that our time bucket is usually lacking. Her story though, will illustrate how if she can find a way to squeeze in kindness into her schedule, so can you. A few years ago, Christal had a brain tumor removed and today still suffers from the side effects of the tumor and the procedure. But that's not the end of the story. Outside of her own medical needs, she also has to take both of her children to multiple doctors visits each week, because, if suffering from her own brain tumor wasn't enough, her little girl also has one. Many people in these situations may feel like they are the ones in need instead of being the ones to seek out a season of giving. But not this family. They have found a way to not only bring joy into their own lives through helping others, but bring joy to those that are in need as well. Let's get into this extraordinary list of goodness they handed out this month! Here is their list of 25:
1. Wrote inspiration quotes in chalk around the neighborhood.
2. Delivered Christmas presents and toys to a family in need
3. Cleaned their Grammy's house.
4. Gave gift card for lunch to their janitor at school (who had the most touching story for them on how they try to keep everything extra clean for her daughter, Chloe, because of her illness)
5. Went to the humane society to play with the animals.
6. Delivered toiletries to families in need.
7. Donated to the Orlando Mission to feed the homeless on Christmas.
8. Gave notes and candy to their doctors at Nemours.
9. Left snacks on the porch for Fedex/UPS/Postal workers
10. Christmas caroled around the neighborhood.
11. Donated to the Salvation Army.
12. Gave gifts to the aftercare teacher
13. Dropped off supplies to the humane society.
14. Gave gift card for lunch to their mailwoman.
15. Donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
16. Gave gifts to the cafeteria workers at school.
17. Gave a gift card for lunch to the bus driver.
18. Dropped off toiletries to the middle school to give to students in need.
19. Mailed winter clothes to a child in need.
20. Dropped off books to the Ronald McDonald house
21. Gave a book, written by Chloe, to her oncologist.
22. Dropped off wrapped gifts and some NASA swag to the oncology ward at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital.
23. Mailed a cheerup gift for a friend who is going through a difficult time.
24. Bought lunch for a student who didn't have money to eat with her friends.
25. Delivered cookies to the police station (after being pulled over on the way to drop off the cookies because their car lights were out!!)
In speaking to Christal about their adventures in getting pulled over, hearing ways others go above and beyond for their family that they never knew (the janitor), she and her children loved being able to give back to the community. She did mention that this schedule was pretty busy and that maybe next year they will modify it some to make it a bit easier to do yet still be able to do just as much good as this year. Below are some pictures of their adventures!
If you have questions about how you too can have a month of giving (it doesn't always have to be Christmas!), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Christal! Feel free to post questions or comments here too. Happy New Year to all and cheers to a 2020 filled with kindness and service to others!