Joe has a history of abuse that compares to A Child Called It. Joe, 46, is illiterate although he made it through the 11th grade after leaving his abusive family at age 15. He and wife Mary are doing the best with what they have to parent their five children differently than he was raised. He works whenever he can find "fix it" type jobs while Mary provides in-home healthcare services for the elderly. Their income is very low to provide for a family of seven. Joe states his father burned whatever Christmas gifts they may have received from others when he was a child. You have the ability to help him once again experience the true magic and meaning of this beautiful season.
Every year, I think that there can’t be a family or person we will help that can possibly break my heart as much as a case from the year before did.
And every year, I am wrong. There is just an unbelievable amount of suffering in the world. Joe (not his real name) really hit me square in the heart this year. It’s a toss-up between his family and the plight of 10-year-old Jack (also not his real name).
Jack and his young half-sister have been bounced around from family member to family member to state care depending on the status of their drug-addicted mother. Before moving in with her latest paramour, the family was living in a car. She is now getting help and trying to establish a household for her children.
Sometime between the time I received this and last week, that all changed. The mother is back off track and the two children have been taken from her, but separated into two different homes. These kids are 10 and 7 and they’ve already seen more of the world’s nasty underbelly in their short little lives than some people will see in a lifetime. Some people have no idea how fortunate they are to be unacquainted with "the ways of the world."
These are just two of this year’s sad cases. The good news is that I know about them. The better news is that I have colleagues who are at least as touched by these stories as I am each year. And when I ask them to help me, 99.99 percent of them ask simply “what” and “when.” I am fortunate enough to be the name and face behind our office's annual holiday charity program. I’ve been active in the program for a decade now and heading it up in some way for about half those years.
I can’t fix Jack’s mother. I can’t wipe out Joe’s troubled childhood. But the best news? I can make this a MUCH brighter holiday and get 2012 off to a happier start for them. How can I do that?
Because I’m one bad*ss elf – surrounded by dozens of super-powered Santas.
(Photo of NV , yep that is yours truly, courtesy of The MonkeyGirl. Elf costume created by sewwhat – mother of The MonkeyGirl. )