You know that old saying "It's better to give than to receive?" Well, from experience, I absolutely love getting gifts. I love going to shows and expos and picking up the freebies. I love surprise Starbucks gift cards that are left on my desk at work. I love surprise sparkly things that I had no clue that I was getting. I love going to my moms house because everyday is like Christmas there. I always walk away with something great.
Something I love even more than getting stuff? Giving stuff. I love giving my kids presents because they get so excited. I love shopping for other people. I love doing things for other people
Something caught on in 2011 in my family, and it has carried over into 2012. It all started when my niece and nephew had a joint birthday party at Harvesters Food Bank. For those that don't know, Harvesters is a food bank that serves our local community as well as all of the surrounding communities. It's a great organization. The kids (who were turning 10 and 7 at the time) chose to have a party at Harvesters instead of a big bash with all of their friends. Instead of presents, they asked that people bring non perishable food items to be donated. We also rolled up our sleeves and sorted through fruits and vegetables that would be handed out to those in need. It was an interesting afternoon - I know that I will never again look at a food bank the same way. That one organization does so much good and it is almost completely staffed by volunteers. It's a pretty amazing way to spend a day, that's for sure.
The giving continued with Brayden's 3rd birthday party - Brayden told me he didn't care about presents and he just wanted cake. We are extremely fortunate - our kids have amazing Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents (and pretty awesome parents too) - our kids have never went without anything that they needed or anything that we thought they might want. Brayden didn't blink an eye when I suggested that we forgo the gifts and give donations to Hope Haven. While I didn't go into the details of what Hope Haven was (one of its purposes serves as a domestic abuse shelter), I did tell him that he could help a lot of people. He really got a kick out of that and we collected a great stock of items to donate in his name.
My niece turned 9 today, and instead of presents she asked that everyone bring items to donate to Aaron's House - a home for pregnant teens ages 12 through 19. We were asked to make Welcome Baskets to give to the residents at Aaron's House. M and her friends made over 13 baskets to give away to the residents - filled with shampoo, soap, slipper socks, hair ties, baby items and more. I had taken Brayden shopping with me to pick out the items that we would donate, and he was so proud picking out things to give away. I couldn't help but smile watching him pick up two of everything and telling me that we still needed to get more to help people. I may not be a perfect parent, but it's moments like this where I feel like I may be doing something right.
And on that sentimental note.....It's time for some prizes!!!!
The winner of the Skinlogics Lip Apeel by BeautiControl is Mrs. Johnny K!
The winner of the Love Flameless Candle is Marie - workfromhome.com!
The winner of Twilight Woods Antibacterial Hand Soap is Jana
The winner of the Warming Trend Green Tea Masque by BeautiControl is Jen P!
The winner of the Rainkissed Leaves Antibacterial Hand Soap is Tiffanie!
The winner of the Midnight Pomegranate Antibacterial Hand Soap is Holly!
And because I had one prize left over, I did a random drawing from the girlies that participated in my blog....and the winner of the "You are Beautiful, Inside and Out" sign is.....Kristin Carver!
Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address - as soon as I have this info, I will get every one's prizes shipped!
Congrats to everyone that won! I'm working with a lot of other vendors to keep doing the giveaways - and I already have my own prize closet, so keep reading! And whether you commented or not - thanks for reading! Really - thank you for reading!