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Old 12-23-2008, 09:46 AM
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Default The Holidays . . . .

So - we recently learned a local family lost everything in a house fire - no contents insurance. Someone organized a collection / donation effort to try to get the family on their feet again before the Holiday.

I decided to use it as a test for my kids. They've got an old television in what we call the "play room," where they watch movies, play video games, etc. I've wanted to replace it with an LCD monitor - but just hadn't gotten around to it. So - I told them about the family and that they didn't have a television for Christmas. There was no deal for a new tv - only that the family didn't have a tv. The three of them (6, 9, and 11) agreed that they would give the family their tv. So - Sunday, we packed it up and brought it to the family. They were quite appreciative - and I can tell it made my kids realize how good they've got it.

I'll replace the tv in a week or so - but I was impressed that they gave it up unconditionally. Made me proud.

So - that was on my mind as I dropped the kids at school this morning and was getting gas. Some guy pulls up - parks his car (I live in a pretty nice area) and he asks if he can wash my windshield for a couple of bucks to get gas. I told him "no thanks," and hung around for a bit to watch this guy try to do something for a buck or two. Having had my house burglarized two weeks ago, I thought to myself - the guy's not shoplifting, not burglarizing or stealing - he's trying to make a buck (the economy is as bad if not worse here in California that about anywhere else). So - I called him over to talk with him. He's from a few miles up the road and was in construction - laid off a couple of months ago. Down on his luck - family around 2-3 hours away. So - I'm doing pretty well - why wouldn't I help this guy out? So - I tell him to pull up to a pump and I fill his tank. One condition - that he make it a point to do something good for someone else today. He seemed genuine - and told me he would do his best.

A bit of a ramble . . . but . . . times are tough for a lot of people right now. Yeah - some people got themselves in over their heads - but times are tough. Take a minute over the next week or two and try to do something for someone. You'd be amazed at how the smallest gesture can make such a difference.

Happy holidays - and pay it forward.