Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gift Giving in Memory of Myles

Today I spent the afternoon wrapping gifts for a local family in need. This family like all families has a story. They immigrated to this area in 2007 from a refuge camp in Laos. The father was "killed" (not died, but "killed") before they immigrated and the mother is disabled and was recently diagnosed with a terminal cancer. The eldest child, P, is in my 1st period general biology class and the two other children are in elementary school. Due to the mom's disability P is the sole provider for her family. She just turned 18, attends high school full time, does all the cooking and cleaning, and works full time. P is one of the hardest working, kindest, and happiest girls you will ever meet. P suffers from chronic migraines and doesn't have health insurance, yet you won't hear her complain. Every day P greets me with a smile and a warm, cheery good morning. At least twice this year she got up early before getting her two little brothers ready for school and made traditional Hmong foods to bring to her favorite teachers. I can not say enough about P--she's truly an inspirational young woman!

One of my friends and colleagues mentioned that she and her family were going to "adopt" P's family for Christmas. Their plan was to buy them essentials like warm winter clothing and food. None of them had winter jackets, hats, mittens, or boots. However, the gifts wouldn't be bought until after Christmas. My friend is taking P shopping during our winter break. I decided that my family and close friends would contribute non-essentials in memory of Myles and would wrap them and get them to the family before Christmas. I wanted to make sure that each and every one of P's family members had a handful of wrapped gifts to open on Christmas morning.

P told me that her little brothers love playing in the snow, so we bought them each a sled. A friend told me that his son loves the nerf dart guns, so I bought each of the boys one of those too. Friends and family donated other gifts for the boys including action figures, books, handheld games, puzzles, etc... P loves photography, so we made sure she had photo albums, frames, a photo board, and other girly things like pink polka dot pajamas, matching plush slippers, lip glosses, eye shadow, lotion/body wash set with loofah, purse, wallet, etc.. My dear friend, M, and her dh, J, are donating a Canon Rebel 35mm camera to P and I know she'll love it! For the mom we collected lotion/body wash sets, perfume, candle sets, slipper socks, a purse, a winter jacket, etc... Additionally we collected many other items for the whole family including new bath towels, wash clothes, a radio/cd player, kitchen items, gift cards, and money.

When I finished wrapping the gifts and looked at all of them it made me smile and cry. I feel so good doing something like this for a family who I know will truly appreciate it. I can picture the smiles on the little boy's faces when they see their sleds and tear open the rest of their gifts. I can also see P's face light up watching her family on Christmas morning. This will be a Christmas to remember for P's family. Although I haven't enjoyed much of the holiday season, I did enjoy this. I am doing this in memory of my little Myles and it makes me feel good!

18 comments:

abgs said...

What a special thing you are doing in memory of a special boy! Your post brought tears to my eyes...

Mo and Will said...

What a wonderful wonderful gift! Your generosity makes me cry too!

Mo

Here from ICLW. I've now linked to you on my site

www.lifeandloveinthepetridish.blogspot.com

Mrs. Spit said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate. It brought me such joy to know that while Gabe didn't need toys, other children would use the toys we bought on his birthday.

Bobbi said...

What a great thing to do Niki! You are an inspiration to us all, and I am sure you are making Myles very proud!

travelaunt7 said...

You are a wonderful person Niki. Your generosity will be appreciated by this family so much.
Linda

mlg- believe N miracles said...

That is so wonderful, I am glad that it brought you some joy.

Kris said...

How fun to do this for someone whom you know will really appreciate it! I am glad that it brought you happiness to do this in little Myles memory. Merry Christmas, Niki and J!
Kris

N said...

Oh, that is so awesome. It brought tears to my eyes. You are going to make a family so amazingly happy this Christmas! Wonderful!

Martha said...

What a wonderful way to honor your son, Myles. Visiting from Mrs.Spit's blog. Thank you for this gift and I send the best to you and yours in the New Year.

Korndog said...

I'm not sure if I've ever commented on your blog but I've been following it for a few months. I just wanted to say that you and your family and friends are such great people and it warms my heart to think of what you guys did for this family. You are truly great people!

Dora said...

Niki, that's wonderful! How beautiful to do this in Myles' name. What a deserving family! Such thoughtful gifts you chose. These children will remember this kindness and generosity their entire lives.

Awesome to be able to make a difference. You and Myles are their Christmas angels.

Tom and Margit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom and Margit said...

Niki-Seriously, this is my third time posting a comment. I can't spell or type grammatically correct lately...ugh, here we go again :)
this is such a giving and wonderful thing to do in honor of Myles'. To give something like this is memory of him is selfless!
You are so generous and amazing!
Margit

Jen said...

What an amazing Christmas you are giving this family! You are one of the kindest, most generous people I know.

Lost in Space said...

What a beautiful way to honor Myles and do something so wonderful for a family in need. This is truly touching. I would love to see the reaction on their faces. I can't imagine the difference you have helped to make in their lives this year even in the midst of your own grief and pain. Truly beautiful!

Angelwingsbaby said...

All I can say is GOD BLESS YOU!


Merry Christmas!!

Wewurtskihit said...

Awesome idea. Nothing like being able to give to those in need during the season of giving!

Merry Christmas!

Mark

Heidi said...

Thank you for doing this, and for sharing this wonderful idea. I will be doing this for my son's birthday!!

Love and hugs