Have you ever seen or participated in a Christmas miracle? I know, most of the world does not celebrate Christmas, so, think miracles in general, perhaps. Either way, I have recently witnessed some outpourings of generosity that border on the miraculous.
The last few days have blown my mind and touched my soul. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the hate and anger so many people have for their fellow human beings until you honestly think the world is full of nasty people with hateful vendettas. However, there are good people out there that will reach out a hand to the people around them, if someone just asks them. These good people have restored my faith in humanity, making me feel guilty for ever having doubted them. It makes me think of Anne Frank saying “I keep my ideals because, in spite of everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
The first of my Christmas (or holiday, if you prefer) miracles came from the Bloggess. She is the sweet, sarcastic Texan that can make me laugh even on my crappiest days. However, this week, she didn’t talk about taxidermy, sex toys, or making Mrs. Claus uncomfortable. She talked about her yearly donation to Toys for Tots and how she was offering 20 $30 gift cards to people in need. This was incredibly generous and thoughtful and touching, but this isn’t the miracle I’m talking about (not that I don’t love it but the best is yet to come!). Because those gift cards went fast. I think they were gone within 30 minutes with heartbreaking stories of people that couldn’t make rent, let alone buy their kids Christmas presents. More people kept telling how hard this Christmas would be beyond the twenty. But, then one of the Bloggess’s readers offered to contribute another gift card to the 21st person. Then another offered to take of the 22nd, and it ballooned out for there. As I’m writing this, over 600 gift cards have been sent to people in need from people around the world. The Bloggess (Jenny, if you know her) organized it all and has people waiting with more gift cards in case more people write in with their stories of hardship.
My second miracle came with this year’s Project for Awesome. It was different than it has been the previous three years because YouTube got behind it, featuring P4A videos and hosting a live show on their website. #P4A became a trending topic on Twitter. And thousands of people promoted charities by making videos and commenting on videos to promote them. It was definitely more big-time than previous years but the dedicated groups of Nerdfighters still made their own liveshow where they could still congregate as a community to promote the charities. This was just as fun as previous years (staying up until 3:30 AM commenting or “Spam-wowing”) and a lot of great charities were promoted. But the miracle comes from the raffles and concentrated giving hosted on the Project for Awesome site. As of now, over $91,000 has been raised for some amazing charities (and that doesn’t count any of the giving that went straight to charities from the video promotions). This is a ton of money considering most of it came from $20, $25, or $30 donations. People bid on items from authors like John Green and Maureen Johnson and from famous YouTubers like Mystery Guitar Man and Shay Carl or made direct donations to the charities.
Anyway, if you want to participate in the next day or so from this posting, I believe that both P4A and the Bloggess will continue accepting donations during that time. The Bloggess will also be giving out more gift cards, if you’re having trouble this year. I hope just knowing about the generosity of strangers when a lot of people are in need can make you feel good about being a part of the human race. This wasn’t meant to be preachy or obligate you in any way. I just want to share some things that really touched my heart. And, to finish off, another piece of Christmas that always makes me feel good: