This morning, I spent several hours with one of my favorite non-profit organizations, National Coalition of 100 Black Women – West Palm Beach Chapter. We celebrated our annual gift of Christmas dinner, where we, as members, pour into three families and give them a prepared meal, followed by gifts for the whole family.
The Gift of Christmas Dinner
We chose the families in a couple of ways: collaborating with other organizations that aid single mothers or personal recommendations from members. This year, we opted to have the members make suggestions for the recipients.
Each year, I find the event inspiring and fulfilling. These families come in, not sure what to expect, we love on them, talk to them and just have a good time with good food. After everyone stuffs themselves, we then hand each family member gifts. Each member is tasked to shop for one member of a family. Depending on the size of the family, it may be one NCBW member to one family member, but this year, the families were a little smaller, and each family member received gifts from up to four NCBW members.
Last year, every single child ended up going home with a bicycle. Since we also provided transportation, this was a creative task in packing to get them back home.
I have a feeling that they weren’t expecting much. They all shuttled in quickly. To accommodate, we had someone prepared to hand them their gifts upon their arrival.
The mother’s face told a story. You could immediately see that our gesture touched her heart. Hesitantly and excitedly, she gave a speech of feeling forgotten and how she was happy that someone had taken time out to think of her. She ended in tears as she had left with her family.
The other two families’ speeches were just as touching. An NCBW member met a woman traveling with her children at a bus stop, befriended her, and now here she was with a tearful face. Honestly, if she had lengthened her speech, I would’ve been a ball of tears. Thankfully, she kept it relatively short, only a few tears escaped.
This was not my only act of service this season, I also participated in an angel tree donation and a single mother gift card donation.
Although I am happily married with a strong marriage, I know that life is fragile. At any moment, I could lose my spouse or worse. I don’t know the full stories of these women and I’m not even sure I want to know. This is the season to look beyond the problems and look to see what good you can do.