I have to take some time to introduce you to The Blogess for those of you who haven’t heard about her. She’s an amazing writer, sometimes potty mouth, and pretty famous mom blogger. Last week she dedicated a post with an offer to donate 20 $30 gift cards to people in need. No corporate sponsorship, just something she wanted to do. All they needed to do was write a comment on her blog stating what they needed.
What happened after that initial post is absolutely amazing. People quickly responded asking for help. People asked for a variety of things:
- “$30.00 at Amazon would assist me in doing what everyone in this country is having difficulty with right now: Getting gifts for my beautiful children…”
- “I never thought I’d be in a position to not be able to buy my son something for Christmas. Unfortunately, here we are, with my husband looking for steady work, my salary frozen, and a voicemail box that’s filled to the brim with messages from bill collectors. So, I’m making as many things as I can for him, and I’m considering wrapping up some toys he’s forgotten about and re-giving them to him …”
- “I’m sick and can’t even go to the … doctor, but I managed gifts. I’d sell a gift credit on e-Bay and use it on a co-pay.”
- “I don’t need anything, but my in-laws could use it. My father-in-law has a prison ministry, and through it he’s met lots and lots and lots of people in need. One family in particular has a newborn and a 2-year-old and little else. They need all kinds of baby stuff; the 2-year-old doesn’t even have a bed. I know they could use the help, and I’d love to pass something on to them from you.”
The Blogess says that there are “people who are planning on telling their children that there is no Santa because otherwise they wouldn’t understand why he didn’t come.”
What happened next is the amazing part. The part that makes you believe. As you might expect there were more than 20 people who responded saying they were in need this year. Then, a reader commented and said they would help the 21st person on the list. It started to avalanche from there. Readers started offering to help by giving gift cards. It kept growing: the list of those in need as well as the list of those willing do donate. The Blogess matched hundreds of donors and strangers.
Here come the tears: “One 9th grader asked if anyone had a used laptop for her disabled mother before coming back and asking to delete the comment since so many other people needed help. That young girl will be surprising her mother with an ipad from one of our amazing, regular readers.”
The Blogess had to keep updating her post each day since there was so much activity. Here’s what a seemingly small idea turned into:
“PS. Final tallies: Over 900 gift cards were sent out by 689 people who were so thrilled to help. 450 people who needed small Christmas miracles received small donations for medicine, food and presents under the tree for their children. No large corporations got involved. No one only offered to donate if they got something out of it themselves. With no sponsorships, no ulterior motives and with only a simple need to reach out and help a perfect stranger 689 everyday, normal people (Jewish, Christians, Atheists, Muslims and more) sent out over $40,000 worth of donations to make sure Christmas came.”