‘Tis the season for merry and bright, and while shoppers rush around finalizing last-minute gift purchases, I’ve been overwhelmed by the giving and generous nature of people during the holidays. I feel blessed to be experiencing my first holiday season as a member of the Albers Communications team. We work with many clients that take on a special cause this time of year. Helping to tell those stories has made my holiday season complete.
One of our clients, Home Instead Senior Care, focuses on bringing Christmas to the lonely and isolated seniors in communities around the country. The idea is simple, yet effective: Put up a Christmas tree in a retail location and load it with paper ornaments that contain a gift wish from a local senior. People then purchase the gifts and return them to the tree, then the local Home Instead office collects, wraps and delivers the gifts to the seniors. Some of the requested items are as humble as a comb or slippers. As one senior said, “It’s not the gift. It’s not the material stuff. It’s the people, how kind people are and thoughtful.” Here’s another touching example of a Be a Santa to a Senior story. My favorite line: “An 83-year-old woman wanted a frame for her nursing diploma.” So simple, really.
Another example of holiday generosity comes from the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association. Last week, one member shared the story of his ongoing mission to give children who are in the hospital during the holidays a reason to celebrate. Ryan Loewenstein chooses this project each year to honor his son, Easton, who died at just 18-months old in July 2008. He coordinates the donation around the anniversary of Easton’s birthday. Loewenstein collected more than 300 gifts to give to patients at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. He and dozens of other fire fighters visited each of the hospital floors, armed with wagons full of colorful presents. To see the delight on the children’s faces, when they could forget their surroundings and circumstances for just a moment and open an unexpected gift from a real-life hero, was priceless.
Thank you to all of you who do amazing work, not just during the holidays, but all year through. Happy Holidays!