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UPDATED: An Offer Of Help For The Holidays

by Alex Iwashyna

in Charity, Holidays

Update: All the spots are closed. Thank you to everyone who was brave enough to ask for help and thank you to all those who spread the word so the people who needed help could find this post. If you would like an example of the magic of helping other, you can read this magic (to me) story.

Last year, I wrote a post highlighting my twelve favorite nonprofits as well as giving away a portion of the money we normally donate to charities to help freaders who were struggling. This year, I want to help as many freaders as I can again.

Some of the recipients from last year were kind enough to offer a few words (which is not a requirement), but we thought it might make it easier for people to ask for help if they read what help could do:

We were able to use the money to repair our only car. My husband was working temp jobs that could (and frequently did) end at any moment, and having a working vehicle was crucial to his job search. Since that time, my husband has found a job that is practically tailored to him, and he drives that car still.

It helped us give our children toys we simply could not have afforded. J has shown an interest in magic tricks and I found a really cool rope-trick set for her birthday. I love to see the pride and self-esteem on her face when she “wows” the audience with her feats of wonder! I also picked up some sensory-friendly toys for L and ordered some chewy jewelry to help him with his chewing tendencies (and hopefully save some shirt sleeves and collars in the meantime!).

You helped me keep the lights on last December. I think of you and your family’s kindness when my two-year-old and I turn on the Christmas lights each night.

BecauseWeCanHelp

I know asking for help is difficult. For a long time, I refused to acknowledge I needed help and refused to accept the help given. Instead I spent my days swinging like a pendulum between attention-seeking and suffering in silence to avoid anyone knowing how much I was truly hurting.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become stronger, and that strength has shown itself not in needing less help but in a willingness to admit defeat and seek support time and time again. I have a small circle of people I call crying and raging and fearful and to whom I ask for help. Sometimes I only need an ear to listen and a voice to tell me: Get it together, woman. Sometimes I need prayers. Sometimes I need a few dinners for my family. And sometimes my family needs financial help.

The first time we needed money was before we were officially a family. Nearly ten years ago, my husband was ready to marry me, but he couldn’t afford the band for an engagement ring (the diamond was passed down). Scott offhandedly told his best friend, and the very next day, his friend put a check in mail and said: Money should never stand in the way of love.

When we tried to pay his friend back years later, he only asked us to do that for someone else one day. Perhaps, this offer of help on Late Enough is our version of not letting money stand in the way of a family’s holiday and new year.

I want to help if you need it. You can leave a comment on this post or you can email me directly at alex{at}lateenough{dot}com and let me know how it would help you. I will help as many people as I can until we can no longer afford to give.

Thank you for being brave enough to ask.

PS: The Bloggess did an amazing post back in 2010 that started with a thank you to her readers and ended up becoming a virtual angel tree of sorts. Many bloggers have since done Virtual Angel Trees — some of which have also been remarkable and some of which have been mired in (whispered) controversy.  I don’t want to go the angel tree route (or root – punny!). However, anyone who wants to help their freaders on their blogs, I’m happy to tell you how I set up what I do. You don’t need a lot of money to help others. You mostly need to be willing.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole December 19, 2012 1

Alex, this is one of the reasons I like you so much. Thank you for giving so freely. You epitomize the word aloha- something many here in Hawai’i seem to have forgotten.

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Sarah December 19, 2012 2

Thank you for doing this. It always warms my heart to see these posts!

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Skye December 19, 2012 3

That wedding band story is so sweet! This is awesome. I love you.

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Lily from It's A Dome Life December 19, 2012 4

Can you email me some information on how you do it? I would like to do this too. I just had a conversation today with one of my freaders who is struggling financially and I felt so helpless about how to help her. Any tips you have would be much appreciated.

I love that money should never stand in the way of love. You got me teary with that one. You have good friends and good people in your life. Passing it on is the best way to thank someone. I have received help in my life that I could never really return to that specific person. Doing something for others would be such a great way to honor those people in my life.

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Erika December 20, 2012 5

Hello Alex,
A lady from a ppd support group suggested this particular blog to me.
To tell you a little about my small family: I am married to a wonderful man. Together we have a beautiful four month old boy. We live 40 miles from the closest walmart, and 20 miles from the closest grocery store. We do get foodstamps so there’s no trouble there. My husband receives 129 dollars a month from the va. Most of that goes to making sure our son has what he needs. Which leaves little else for anything we need. We live in a 20 ft camper. With an electric heater that barely keeps up on the coldest of nights. And yes even here in Arizona it can get down right freezing.
Our stove doesn’t work and i cook on and electric skillet that is about the size of my hand. i would love to be able get my son something for his first Christmas but we can’t even afford the 65 dollars it’s gonna cost to get our car fixed, let alone money for gifts.
I’m not really asking for help, i just thought it wouldn’t hurt..

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Erika December 20, 2012 6

…to try. Thank you.

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