Eden Community Gives Back: the first Christmas family has been adopted! (Please help raise Eden Points for gift shopping 11/15 – 11/20!)

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Eden Community Gives Back: the first Christmas family has been adopted! (Please help raise Eden Points for gift shopping 11/15 – 11/20!)

Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
I have adopted a family and want to tell you all about it!

I was deeply moved when I read Victoria’s announcement that EdenFantasys would be sponsoring needy families for Thanksgiving and Christmas during the Community Events Committee Meeting a few weeks ago. Over the next few days following the meeting, I searched for local organizations in my community that help families in need, calling them up to gather more information about their goals and their missions. In my search, one particular organization that stood out to me was the Assistance Center of Collin County (ACCC). I was impressed by their many family assistance programs, but what arrested my full attention and simply astounded me was the program they call Plano Santas.

Plano Santas is a city-wide effort to meet the needs of 500 struggling families. By city-wide, I mean that it is truly a cooperative community effort: even school children get involved by bringing canned goods from home, while yet another local organization helps the ACCC transport these goods and organize them in an old grocery store, which is affectionately dubbed “Santa’s Workshop.” Other organizations, including our local firefighters, add their own donations and this helps in the purchasing of enough hams, turkeys, and other food staples to feed each of these 500 families for an entire month. One particular group, the WFFA, sponsors a toy drive to stock “Santa’s Workshop.” Yet another group calling themselves the Plano Shoe Ministers donates hundreds of $15 Payless Shoe Source gift cards. It is truly heartwarming to see such a cooperative and united community-driven effort.

The ACCC began taking applications for families in need just a couple of weeks ago. The “adopter” provides the gifts for the children in the form of clothing and toys, while the city donates a 30-day supply of food to each “adopter” to take to his or her adopted family, along with a $15 Payless Shoe Source gift card for each child. When the “adopter” shows up at “Santa’s Workshop,” ACCC volunteers load up the “adopter’s” car with several crates of food.

The ACCC has sponsored Plano Santas for several decades. Sadly, there are lots of families who go unadopted each year. While the children of the unadopted families do not receive gifts in the form of clothing or toys, all of the families – including the unadopted families – at least receive the 30-day supply of food. I am just so very grateful to this community and all of you here at EF that one less family will go unadopted this year and will thus be receiving some much-needed clothing.

I was so anxious to adopt our family that I went in on Friday, November 5, while the ACCC was still busy accepting applicants. When I arrived, they had already approved almost half of their 500-family limit over the previous three days. Wading through the crowded waiting room of mothers with young children in tow, I headed to one of the back conference rooms where a volunteer helped me to search through Case Sheets to choose EF’s special family.

When I went in that afternoon, I carried with me a vague idea of adopting a family of four or five. I imagined this family having fairly young children and I had visions of purchasing Barbie dolls and Tonka toys and tiny clothing. But while searching through the Case Sheets on a selection of families, something on one particular sheet caught my eye: Single mother / On ACCC Self Sufficiency Program / Son has a brain tumor. I pulled the sheet from the stack and could not put it down. Would the community at EF be disappointed in me for choosing such a small family? Would they prefer to help a family with more children? This family was a relatively small family of three: a 49 year old mother, a 15 year old daughter, and a 12 year old son (the child with the brain tumor).

When I asked the volunteer who was helping me whether this family had a better-than-average chance of being adopted by someone else due to their small size and special circumstances, he told me that it was actually the families with such special circumstances who often go unadopted because, in general, people are uncomfortable not knowing “what they are getting into.” So, the majority of people who come in to adopt a family tend to shy away from families with “special needs.”

Having made my selection, I was given an envelope containing two $15 Payless Shoe Source gift cards that was donated from the Plano Shoe Ministers, an instruction sheet for picking up and delivering the 30-day supply of food on either December 18 or 19, and the family’s Case Sheet, which includes their address and phone number.

I was able to get in touch with the mother the next day, Saturday, November 6. She expressed her sincere gratitude and assured me that anything, however meager, would help. Her son, who is almost 13, has been in stable condition for the past three months and she sounded very happy to report that he has been attending school regularly this semester.

When trying to nail down sizes for the kids, she told me that it had been so long since they had been able to go clothes shopping that she was unsure of their sizes. Teenagers grow so fast and, in her words, “change their minds so often about what they want.” She suggested that perhaps a gift certificate allowing them to go shopping to try on clothes might be best. When pressed for ideas from which stores her daughter and son would like a gift certificate, she suggested Target for her son and Forever 21 for her daughter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Forever 21, it is a store that sells trendy, yet very affordable, clothing for young women.

While I was somewhat disappointed to not be able to go shopping to buy gifts and to wrap them all up in cheerful Christmas paper, I strongly believe that a gift certificate for each of these children is what would meet this family’s needs the best. At almost-13 and 15, there are few activities more exciting for kids in this age range than going on a shopping spree and making their own choices and selections. And while it’s certainly “less fun” for the shopper not to be able to buy toys, clothing is important to teens. So, I think it would be best if every bit of the money donated to this family by our community goes toward splitting it into equal amounts to purchase a gift card for each child so they can buy clothing.

Again, I just want to express my gratitude to EF for donating to such a worthy cause and for organizing such a wonderful way to give back during the holidays, a time when those who are struggling feel the most strain. Nothing is more heartbreaking for a parent than to not only be unable to fulfill some of their children’s wants, but to be unable to fulfill their needs. Thank you in advance to all of you who are generous enough to donate some of your EF points toward helping this particular family this Christmas.

I just want to close in saying that I was heartbroken as I looked over each Case Sheet last Friday, worrying with each sheet I looked at whether this was a family who would go unadopted and overlooked this Christmas. I dearly wish we could have adopted them all, but we cannot become overwhelmed by the knowledge that we cannot help every single needy family in the world. But to one needy family, we can make all the difference in the world. The biggest difference we make to them is not in the gifts we bear, but in buoying their spirits by simply showing them that someone cares.
11/15/2010
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SexyTabby SexyTabby
*hugs* Thank you.
11/15/2010
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
Yeah Selective Sensualist! Very cool that you found a family for us to help. Sounds like they could use some Eden love too.
11/15/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
@Sexy Tabby: No, thank all of YOU here in this forum for having the generosity to reach out to help these families! (((Hugs back!)))

@Dwtim: Yep, it will be awesome to spread that love around this holiday season.

11/15/2010
Victoria Victoria
YAY! It is so exciting to be able to help this family! THANK YOU to Selective Sensualist for being an ambassador and representative of this community!

Eden is starting this family out with $150 for gifts... but just as we’ve seen with our Thanksgiving drive a few weeks ago, we can do MORE as a community! Let's raise some points for these people and help them have wonderful holidays!

Anyone who would like to help can donate EdenPoints (which Eden will match 50 cents on the "dollar", meaning that if you donate 20.00 in EdenPoints, we will donate $10.00 in cash on your behalf. All you have to do is cash in your points and email me the amount and the code. (victoria@edenfantasys .com) It's that simple! To keep it timely, you must to have your donations in by the end of Saturday night (November 20th). We will tally all of the donations on Monday morning and cut the check so Selective Sensualist can go shopping for this family soon! (Do not post your cashed-in points code here! You can post what amount you donated though. And we will be thanking everyone who gave, at the end of the tally - right here on this thread!)

We will be doing more of these threads in weeks to come, for 4 more families around the country for Christmas (for details, see the general giving back thread here) We have one more slot open for a Rep, if anyone would like to volunteer to be a Community Rep and find an agency to get connected with a family in need, please do! We will also fund you for the basics and do a points fund-raiser for you too!

Thank you to everyone in this completely amazing community!
11/15/2010
Jobthingy Jobthingy
I just sent my donation email!

This is lovely SS. My daughter had a brain tumor (thankfully after removal and biopsy it was found to be benign) so it warmed my heart that you pulled this family from the pile.

Brava
11/15/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be a representative/ambassa dor for all of you. Each of you are integral to making this forum such a caring and giving community.

I will happily be baking at least one of my specialty desserts to take along with a Christmas card for the family. I would love to figure out some way to include all of your names on the card, though I am still working out how to do that. Very few of us go by “real” names here and it would look pretty weird to sign the card with a lot of EF user names!

I am open to ideas on how to go about this. Perhaps you could message Victoria with your first names and she could then give me a list of names to sign on the card? That way, your anonymity will be completely safe since I won’t have any idea which first name matches up with which EF user name.

Please let me know your thoughts about this!
11/15/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by Jobthingy
I just sent my donation email!

This is lovely SS. My daughter had a brain tumor (thankfully after removal and biopsy it was found to be benign) so it warmed my heart that you pulled this family from the pile.

Brava
Thank you SO MUCH, Jobthingy!

I am so glad that your daughter's tumor turned out to be benign. It is such a disruptive and frightening thing for a child to go through. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from a serious disease, but it just breaks my heart for children to be put through such trauma. The most frightening thing is the unknown and they are plummeted right into the very heart of uncertainty when they are diagnosed with a disease that could potentially be life-threatening.
11/15/2010
Kindred Kindred
This is more amazing news! Thank you so much Selective Sensualist for doing all of this work and representing the community. It really is heartwarming.
11/15/2010
Victoria Victoria
YAY - I am already getting donation emails! You guys rock!
11/15/2010
Midway through Midway through
I'm so glad that Eden helps people out, this community is SO great.
11/15/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Thank you, all of you, for your generosity!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be out of town for the next couple of days visiting some elderly relatives who (*gasp*) DON'T HAVE INTERNET! So, along with the severe Internet-withdrawal symptoms from which I will be suffering, I also will not be able to check in on this thread. I just didn't want any of you to think I was ignoring you if you happen to make an inquiry when I was gone.

I will try to hi-jack my brother-in-law's computer (or one of my nephews' or my sister's I-Phones) if I can wrestle one of those technological marvels away from them long enough!
11/16/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
This is amazing. And so are you, SS. Kudos to you and everyone.

My points also are being sent today. Let's make this even better than the Turkey day one!
11/16/2010
Not here Not here
I'm gonna wait until Saturday so I can accrue as man points as possible! I love all you guys, we freakin rock! Especially Selective Sensualist!
11/16/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be a representative/ambassa dor for all of you. Each of you are integral to making this forum such a caring and giving community.

I will happily be baking at least one of my specialty desserts to take ...
Thank you so much for doing this, Selective!

For me, thanks or my real name isn't important. It isn't about anonymity, I just want to give. It doesn't matter who they know it's from. The whole of us, as a Community is important. The Family itself is even more important.

Since I write under the name P'Gell you're free to use that name or none at all for me.

Oh, I wish I lived close enough to bake for them.
11/16/2010
Heartthrob Heartthrob
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
I have adopted a family and want to tell you all about it!

I was deeply moved when I read Victoria’s announcement that EdenFantasys would be sponsoring needy families for Thanksgiving and Christmas during the Community Events Committee Meeting ...
That's wonderful! I sponsor a teenager in Indonesia. I think that everyone who can, should help a family, child, or individual in need. It's really so much more than just helping.
11/16/2010
Victoria Victoria
Thanks to a very large donation ($100 Gift card) from Gary, we're getting close to the $100 cash mark! Come on, everyone, I know we can do it!

You're not going to burn out, are ya? We're doing 4 more families after this... are y'all ready to do a whole lot of helping in the next few weeks?
11/16/2010
Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
I think you chose the perfect family. First and foremost, any needy family is deserving of our help, regardless of size or circumstances. And second, choosing a needy family that others might pass over due to their circumstances is even better in my book. <3
11/17/2010
Illusional Illusional
Must get more points.
11/18/2010
Not here Not here
Quote:
Originally posted by Illusional
Must get more points.
I know, I was thinking the same thing!
11/18/2010
Rockin' Rockin'
Quote:
Originally posted by Not here
I'm gonna wait until Saturday so I can accrue as man points as possible! I love all you guys, we freakin rock! Especially Selective Sensualist!
This is great, SS. I am glad we have this opportunity to help ^_^

I've got the same strategy as Jesibel420...gotta wait til Saturday to email so I'll have a good bit to give.
11/18/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
*Whew* Two more days to gather points. For some reason I though today was the last day and I have places to go, and won't be on long. OK, two more days....
11/18/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
Thanks to a very large donation ($100 Gift card) from Gary, we're getting close to the $100 cash mark! Come on, everyone, I know we can do it!

You're not going to burn out, are ya? We're doing 4 more families after this... are ...
OMG! I am staggered by Gary's generosity! Thank you so much!

And many, many thanks to ALL of you guys! You all rock!
11/18/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
*Whew* Two more days to gather points. For some reason I though today was the last day and I have places to go, and won't be on long. OK, two more days....
I just got back home after being away two days WITH NO INTERNET ACCESS -- save for a very, very brief interlude with my B-I-L's computer Tuesday night)! (Geez, the withdrawals that I experienced . . . what in the world did we do in the days before the Internet?)

Trying to get some points earned before the deadline myself!


THANK YOU ALL, ONCE AGAIN!!!
11/18/2010
mysecretcollection mysecretcollection
I think you picked the perfect family! Thank you for taking your time to be a rep for this wonderful cause!
11/18/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Once I get to my computer, I will be donating!
11/18/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
My donation has been submitted by email to you, Victoria
11/18/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
@mysecretcollection: Thanks -- it was so hard to pick just one family. And thank YOU for being a rep for TWO families and for doing all that grocery shopping on multiple trips! You seriously rock, lady!

@Darling Jen: Thank you so much!

And thanks again to everyone else who has been so generous to donate their points to help this family!
11/19/2010
Kayla Kayla
I love all the details you included. It's so amazing to see a community come together like that.

I sent in my giftcard.
11/20/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Quote:
Originally posted by Kayla
I love all the details you included. It's so amazing to see a community come together like that.

I sent in my giftcard.
Aw, thank you Mistress Kay!
11/20/2010
Total posts: 94
Unique posters: 28