So my siblings and my parents have this really great tradition, in fact it got me thinking last night about how much more we could do to help those in need if my other side of the family also participated in something of this nature, or if we all did rather then fuss over silly gifts for each other. every year we pick a charitable cause to contribute our time, money, and energy into rather then buying gifts for each other. this includes the parents buying gifts for us and us for them and siblings exchanges etc. each year a different member of the family is in charge and also picks the cause to which we are contributing. we pool all the money we would have spent, wether its a little or a lot, whatever we have to give that year and we do something more valuable with it. we all know that as hard as times are there is always someone who needs much more then we do.
this year my sister kully picked a family that is here legally through a program for refugees. they have escaped the perils that they faced in burundi africa. they have 6 kids so a family of 8. speak no english and have very little in the way of anything including basic needs like TP, clothing, dishes, bed to sleep on, couches etc... our family was in charge of the gifts for the children and together with my mom and dad clair we picked up a new, cute outfit for each including socks and undies, some accessories and a toy. i also gathered up anything and everything i would consider taking to DI anytime soon and sent that as well. it feels so good to do something meaningful. it feels so good to do whats right and realize that as much as we are hurting right now we arent hurting in near comparison to many others.
on the way home from our family get together to celebrate the season and our efforts to serve i started to worry about what to get nates brother and wife who we have for gifts this year on nate's side of the family. though i like to give to family as i contemplated this task to get done i thought about how much we were able to give this burundi family with what money we would have spent and started to consider what if every extended/big family did this?
below is a picture, one of inspiration, a man in burundi (not the one we helped) in a concocted wheelchair, who is happy to have the simple means he has and be getting some kind of education. he is happy even though his body does not work, he is fighting for life! so amazingly inspirational to me.