***Please excuse the tardiness of this post – our Internet was down yesterday!***
It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year: 25 Days of Giving time!
Last year my childhood bestie Stephanie and I challenged ourselves to spend the 25 days leading up to Christmas giving back to the community, whether through volunteering, donating money or goods, or just spreading cheer in little ways that we wouldn’t normally take the time to do.
Admittedly, we did it mostly to help ourselves feel better about our lives, but it ended up being a most amazing experience. Even though we were dedicating 25 days to giving to others, we were both grateful to discover how much we received from the experience. Participating fully in your community can bring such pleasure, and such a sense of purpose, and that was something that I think both of us, and many other people in this world, are looking for.
One of the most exciting things that happened in 2011’s 25 Days of Giving was how many of our friends and family members decided to join us. This year Stephanie has recruited two others to do the full 25 Days challenge, and I’ve recruited over 20 people to participate in various activities that I have lined up, including an Adopt-a-Family. There’s no better feeling than watching your loved ones come together to support those who need a hand.
If you’re interested, I hope you decide to join us, either by doing the full challenge or participating in different activities along the way. I’ll be posting a list of some of the activities that I have planned for the next 3 ½ weeks, so if you’d like to join me let me know and I’ll see if I can get you signed up. I’ll also be linking up to everyone who is blogging about their experience, although one participant I think is updating via Facebook.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
So I’m going to jump off my soap box now and get right down to the fun!
DECEMBER 1 – DAY 1!
When Ian and I got married last year, we were lucky to have one of Ian’s best friends from college, Heather, as our officiant. Heather is a truly remarkable person and currently works at Stanford University for their Hillel group. One of Heather’s responsibilities at Stanford is to run a program called Camp Kesem, which is a free, student-run summer camp for children who have a parent who is currently in treatment for cancer, is in remission from cancer, or died from cancer.
Cancer sucks. And it also sucks to be a kid with a parent with cancer. Camp Kesem gives these kids the rare opportunity to just be a regular kid for a week, and make friends with peers in the same situation.
Camp Kesem hosts an annual Make the Magic dinner and silent auction fundraiser, so when Heather posted on Facebook asking for auction basket donations, I immediately signed up. I put together an “I Love California” basket, which included homemade blackberry jam from Santa Rosa, CA state nail art, and a wine stave candleholder, which I had originally made for my wedding (the stave is from Central California).
The auction is officially on Dec. 2nd, and I’m crossing my fingers that my little basket helps to raise some funds for Camp Kesem.
If you’d like to join me in donating, go here to contribute to Camp Kesem Stanford.