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The Tentacle


November 15, 2012

Creating Christmas Morning Smiles

Joan Marie Aquilino

It’s that special time of year when once again we feel the reason, in our hearts and souls, why we are so very lucky to live in a county such as Frederick. There is no place like our county when it comes to giving and helping those less fortunate.

 

WFMD/930AM is the home for Christmas Cash for Kids Radiothon. It starts the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 26, and runs through Friday the 30th. Many of you will have spent some unnecessary money on Black Friday items and that’s okay; but while doing so, please save a bit to give to those who don’t get to experience that mad shopping craze.

 

To date, despite the debilitating economy, Christmas Cash for Kids has managed through the generosity of so many in Frederick and, amazingly, many outside our county borders to continue supporting children and giving them Christmas morning smiles they may not have otherwise.

 

My own daughter, Coleen, I believe still holds the title for calling in a donation from the furthest point. She was living and teaching in Chennai, India, where poverty abounds, but she still had that “I-need-to-help-at-home-too tug on her heartstrings.” We’ve had so many who have moved out of the area but still can’t begin their own Christmas or holiday season without first making their yearly donations to make sure children all know the wonders of the season – feeling that hope that only this season seems to create.

 

Last year witnessed totals over $172,000, which in my minds-eye is truly amazing. No child was forgotten. No tears of disappointment. Renewed faith was given to so many who feared there would be no Santa for them.

 

When we are talking about children who don’t always understand, it’s not because they aren’t loved or weren’t good enough. They don’t understand it’s just because there is no money for what is needed, let alone gifts. Children equate Christmas morning to all things love, warm and comforting. It’s not a child’s fault the circumstances to which they are born. With very little effort, we can each take an active role in turning around those circumstances.

 

The gift you give doesn’t have to be thousands (even though those who can, do) but it’s those dollars – that coffee cup change – every little bit you can spare.

 

The donations that sincerely melt my heart each and every year are the ones coming from children themselves when they open their tiny, sweet hands and inside that clinched fist you find their own money, those coins that mean so much to them, that they earned.

 

But they have a heart so big it eclipses their tiny size and it’s important for them to give it to another child. Children helping children and parents who embrace them, gently guiding them toward becoming adults who will continue helping others. The largest men I know are literally brought to tears and constantly reminded through the eyes of children why they continue to do this year after year.

 

Many areas have tried, but no one has succeeded like Frederick. It’s just something about this area – and its people – that brings out the best. No matter how bad things get, we just hunker down and dig a little deeper to help others.

 

Christmas Cash for Kids is literally an addiction, one that I pray is contagious. Those who give once that first time come back and give twice the following year. Those who lived here and move away still find the station (wfmd.com) on the computer and call in, telling Bob Miller where they live, reminding everyone that there is nothing there like Frederick and they want to continue giving. Those who gave $10 come back and give $20. And, of course, we can’t forget those who give thousands, also; they match all those dollar donations and double what you give.

 

Things seem rather dim with all the issues constantly surrounding us these days. Stop, take a deep breath, rejoice in what we have and open your hearts and wallets, providing someone else a reason to rejoice and hold onto hope, a hope for something better tomorrow. A hope that they will lift themselves up to the point they, too, will be the givers and show others the way.

 

Do something for yourself this year and make a child smile on Christmas morning.

 

. . . . .'til next time . . .

 

As always, I’d love to hear from you; so, let me know what’s on your mind by emailing info@thetentacle.com, or contacting me directly at Joan.Aquilino.Mcintyre@gmail.com.

 



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