There are times in my life when I have to stop and take a moment to just listen to that "still, small voice". Some of you may know what I'm talking about. That voice that says, "Hey! Listen up! You're meant to do something here. But you won't know what unless you stop and...breathe."
There are times when I am so glad I stopped. This is one of those times.
I've told you about the girl in Newnan, Georgia, who asked for a few things on the Alliance for Children's Enrichment Christmas wish list that was posted in the Times-Herald. I've told you how inspired and touched I was to see that she asked for "Cheryl Tardif books", in particular, Whale Song. I've told you that I decided to sponsor this teen and send her a Christmas I hope she'll always remember. And I believe I've told you that I contacted some other authors on the teen wish list, plus some author friends who aren't.
What I haven't told you is how honored I am to know Jan Taylor, my contact at ACE. Here is a woman who serves her community and "her kids" selflessly and tirelessly. And yet, Jan's own health is seriously declining. I was shocked when she told me she thought she might not make it to Christmas this year, or that it might be her last if she does make it. I was humbled, and continue to be, in the presence (albeit by phone) of this woman.
In an email that she sent out to board members and cc'd to me, she says, "I was quite apprehensive about the Christmas drive this year for several reasons." Jan talked about how low donations were this year, and how many more families they have that need to be helped. I know that this woman has personally cared for and paid for necessities for families. Sometimes for food, heat and electricity, clothing, shelter and prescription drugs. She was so apprehensive this year, worried for her 4000+ families, sad for the kids who will go without food or a Christmas gift.
I am so glad I stopped to listen...to breathe.
After contacting Jan and sponsoring my teen, I decided to see if there was anything else I can do. So I contacted all my author friends, some I knew, some I didn't. Some were on the wish list, some weren't. I contacted my family and friends, book reviewers and as many others as I could think of. I emailed them to let them know that someone (many someones) need help. And they are answering. These authors and friends are also stopping and listening...and helping. And I thank each and every one of them. You are true angels!
ACE still has many more teens and families that need help to get through Christmas and the winter, and I invite you to consider doing a Random Act of Kindness before 2007 is over. Send in a donation, sponsor a child or family...and be part of this Christmas miracle. I guarantee you won't regret it!
In Jan's words, "Christmas is the season of miracles, some small, some large and sometimes, one just needs to be able to recognize them. "
You can contact Jan Taylor at Alliance for Children's Enrichment
If you wish to sponsor a child, please contact Jan first to see which children are left on the list and to get their real names, especially if you are an author who wishes to send an autographed book.
To read how this miracle began, please read A Christmas Connection.
For the latest wish list, go HERE.
Merry Christmas to you all!