I was reading an article at http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/6151606/Secret-Santas-stun-shoppers-with-layby-payoffs which reminded me of an incident in my life that made me appreciate peoples generosity.
Many moons ago, i was young and stupid. I had my first child at 18, i married an unemployed bum at 20 and had another 3 children. We lived in a poor area, with a lot of similar minded people, and lived on government handouts, most of which were spent on rent, food, and smokes.
More often than once we begged neighbours or food banks for food, and once we even resorted to slaughtering our pet chicken because we were so hungry.
Eventually i realized i wanted more in life, started to train on courses, and try and get jobs. Hindered by a bum husband who never wanted to work, never wanted to look after the children, and in fact do anything other than rack up more debt on loans.
Eventually i realized i needed to leave husband, and so did. I moved into a better area, and started sorting out my life, in the mean time i was still broke, and had a lot of debts to pay. It was two days before Xmas, i had nothing for the children, i had some expired food in my cupboard i planned to eat for xmas, when i heard a knock at the door.
It was a Repo guy, came to take the TV. I was upset, gutted, and to top it all off, that was one of the payments i was not behind on (there was a mixup). I packed the kids into strollers, and bikes to get out, and walked 4km to a mall. I just needed to walk it off, cool down, and get out of the house.
As i got near the mall. i found a single $1 coin, I went into the mall, and went to the lottery shop, bought a $1 ticket. I scratched it off, and it was nothing at all. I think at this point i had accepted things, so just walked out dejected. As i left, the women in the shop at the counter came up to me and asked me if i was ok, at which point i just explained things had been a bit rough (without going into detail).
Another lady overheard and came up and said “hey, are you looking for some gifts for your children for xmas? We have way to many toys and i was just going to throw them out”
This amazingly wonderful women, turned up on Xmas eve at my house, with a HUGE carload of amazing toys, several grocery bags of food, then left as if it was nothing. I’m still not sure even now how much that meant to me. From then onwards i just move onwards and upwards, got a job, got re-married to a wonderful guy, and life has never been better. But i never forget that women, and i always make a point to try and make somebodys xmas better.
Please, if you see somebody who is in need this season, it does not hurt to give them your cast offs, or a few dollars, some food, or similar.