Monday, December 4, 2006

That warm and fuzzy feeling
It's starting to feel like Christmas.
Earlier today, I dropped off some presents for Operation Santa Claus, a program put on by the SEA, the State Employee's Association of New Hampshire. Operation Santa Claus asks people to go out and buy at least $50 worth of gifts for a needy child in the state who might not have Christmas presents otherwise. They ask that you buy at least two gifts so that everyone has at least two gifts on Christmas morning.
For a few years now, I've participated in the program, as well as similar programs in Massachusetts, but I've never really felt like I was doing more than just buying some gifts for someone else. Sure, I like giving to others, especially those who don't have much in the first place. I'm not rich, but I've been quite blessed and I have more than enough. Most of the time, the whole process can be a pain in the ass because I leave it until the last minute and then spend time running around the city trying to find the perfect gift for a teenager I don't even know.
This year wasn't an exception although I didn't leave it until the last minute ... I actually got the shopping done a few days before the deadline. But, as I went around, I found it a bit difficult to get it together and I didn't really feel in the spirit.
The description of the child I got was a 13-year-old boy with family issues who asked for a snowboard, Rollerblades, skateboard, and winter clothes. I was able to find some bargains and get him some winter clothes and a set of Rollerblades, which was cool. But I didn't quite feel like I was doing more than just buying some gifts. Last year, I didn't feel so special about the process either. I had a young girl who asked for a bunch of stuff, like makeup and other things I didn't know how to buy. But I bought and wrapped the gifts, and then dropped them off at the state office complex which used to be the state hospital facility. When I went in the drop the gifts off, a woman met me at the door and that was that.
Last night, I wrapped and labeled the gifts, put them in a bag, and prepared to drop them off and didn't think too much about it.
So on my lunch break today, I bolted down to Stickney Avenue to drop the gifts off at the state Dept. of Transportation building. In the lot, I saw a bunch of cars lined up also bringing gifts into the building. I peeked inside the dirty windows of the building and didn't see much inside.
So I carried my gifts inside and was shocked by what I saw. A handful of folks were labeling bags at a desk and I looked to the right, there were rows and rows of brand new bicycles, along with bags and bags of gifts on conveyor carts. It was truly an amazing sight and I felt so warm and fuzzy inside.
The feeling wasn't because I was doing anything that special or that I was special or anything. It was because hundreds and hundreds of kids in the Granite State who might not otherwise have Christmas presents this year, will have them this year because of the SEA and so many cool people who donated the gifts.
Crossposted at Area603

No comments: