I want to buy the world a Coke.

I JUST KEEP EDITING THIS POST! Here’s an announcement! We just hit the $500!!! Thank you so much to all who donated! Can you tell how excited I am right now? I KEEP USING EXCLAMATION POINTS AND ALL CAPS!!!

I’ve been helping to arrange a holiday gift drive at the girls’ school. Every student was asked to bring in an item (favorite game, pair of socks, grocery store gift card, etc.) and depending on how many items come in, we will assemble baskets for some of our more needy families in the district. This morning I went through all of the items that have been donated so far. We have lots of hot chocolate, candy, a few fuzzy blankets, a few games, some bath lotion shower gel thinger dingers, a few books, some toys, and a few kitchen odds and ends. (The oddest contribution? A Larry the Cable Guy Christmas CD.)

Anyway, on Friday a few of us will be getting together to assemble the baskets and make them “specific” to certain families. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing? That’s where I am when I’m thinking about these families.

Last week I went to Walgreens. (I go to Walgreens at least three times each week. It’s a two minute drive from my house, and I’m always out of tape.) My favorite checker in the afternoon is one of those people who could be either 60 or 20. It’s impossible to guess her age. Anyway, when I asked her if she’s ready for the holidays, she told me that sometimes she wishes she wouldn’t have had kids so early because she’s only 26 (not 60!) and although she puts in a ton of hours (she does!), it’s becoming really difficult to give them the Christmas they deserve. She went on to say that if she could do it all over again, she would have gone to college and waited to have the kids.

Last night I went to the store to buy food for the dogs. The woman who checked me out mentioned that she is one paycheck away from being able to buy her dad some funny boxer shorts for Christmas. (She has been giving him funny boxer shorts every year since she was a kid.) One paycheck away. Those words are still ringing in my head.

If I had an extra few thousand dollars, I swear I would spend December handing hundred dollar bills to anyone who expressed a need or a frustration. And I know that money doesn’t really make anything better, but I also know that sometimes it helps.

I’ve been pretty good about the whole Paying It Forward thing, but I need to be better. Perhaps I’ll devote 2013 to kindness. And preparing the house for a move. And figuring out how to knit continentally. I’ll complain less. I’ll write letters instead of e-mails. I’ll figure out how to run without breaking my legs. Less time thinking, more time doing.

EDITED TO ADD: A few people have made comments and sent e-mails offering to help the people I mentioned above. Please know that setting up a donation system was not my intention when I posted at Fluid Pudding today. With that said, sometimes you put something out there and someone offers to help and how can you turn down the offer if it means that something great might happen? After thinking about this for the past few hours, I’ve decided to make a difference for the woman who wants her kids to have a better Christmas. My PayPal address is the same as my e-mail address: angela at fluidpudding dot com. If you would like to donate, please mark it as “Gift.” (It’s my understanding that fees are waived when it’s a gift. I could be wrong.) I’ve decided to cap it at $500, and will let you know if/when we start getting close. My plan is to stop taking donations this Sunday (December 16th), and I’ll deliver a money order early next week.

Wait a second.

Did you feel that?

I think it’s the Christmas Spirit!

(Thank you guys so much. SO much.)

ANOTHER EDIT! As of 4:00 CST on 12/12/12, we’re up to $445! You guys are amazing. AMAZING!

AND ANOTHER! $470 at 4:23 CST!!!

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22 thoughts on “I want to buy the world a Coke.”

  1. I apparently was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing by reading Fluid Pudding. Here I am today having a little pity party for myself. I needed to read this today. I have presents under the tree for my kids, my hubby, my nephews, and my friends. What can I do to help?

  2. Ditto to blackbird and kathleenicanrah. Because Harper ‘Rob Zombie-ing’ Rudolph has been cracking me up for years. For that, I will gladly contribute.

  3. I’ve always thought if somehow I was suddenly wealthy I would find ways to do exactly what you’re describing…hand out $100 bills to those random folks I run across that could use a little extra. As it is now, I just try to perform random acts of kindness within my ability and means. Thanks for the reality check…sometimes it takes someone else’s story for us to realize how fortunate we are.

  4. This post is begging for a couple of Mother Teresa quotes. “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Here’s your chance to buy the world a coke, indeed!!

    I often wish that I would come into big money so I could help people. Alot of people. I know what it is like to struggle and try to figure out how to give my family a good Christmas, but, I don’t have alot of money, so I help in ways that I can. I buy a gift or two for a needy family in our parish and place it under our church giving tree. I will buy goodies for my uncle and his family, because I know that is they only way that they will get them.

    Yeah, I would like to get a new dishwasher at the moment, (it crapped out last week) but I feel like it is more important to give a few people a little bit of Christmas. I can always get a dishwasher next month or so.

  5. After I typed that comment I thought “figuratively give her a giant hug of course because I’m not awesome with being social or with physical contact with people I don’t live with” and then I realized I’m a giant freak AND THEN I realized that if anyone would understand my weirdness and anti social self, it would likely be you.

    So now I’ve left you the longest run on comment about how bizarre I am. My work here is done.

  6. Hey, I love this. Perfect.

    This is how things are SUPPOSED to work.

    (and, ftr, I feel exactly the same about just rolling around handing out spare hundies. I think it’d be the most fun EVER)

  7. Christmas is probably my least favourite time of year, I tend to feel very relieved when it’s over.

    But a chucked in a fifty because I am grateful that I am in a position to do so.

    Bah Humbug.

  8. I will send some money home with the girls tomorrow. Please use it for either the families from school or the other family you are helping. You continue to inspire me.

  9. I remember one of my college roommates complaining constantly about being poor. I finally realized one day that although we were all living on a shoestring, poor people don’t actually get to go to college. It was a choice to live the way we were, many people don’t even get that choice. Learning to live on very little in lean times to me was a matter of pride and a bit of a game. Because I always knew that when I hit the breaking point, I could always had people I could turn to. There are a lot of people who don’t have anyone to turn to. Thanks Angela!

  10. We have families just a couple of streets away who are struggling with Christmas. It’s a bad time.

    I’ve been meaning to ring the vicar now, and you might just have got me to do it.

  11. I think this is wonderful. Waiting for a paycheck to buy boxer shorts should not have to happen. Nor should children have to go without at Christmas. I sent you £10 from a different email address, an email address that my husband uses so please don’t reply to that one. That should be about $16.

  12. Isn’t it amazing how one person with an off-hand comment can start things in motion to make a practical difference in the lives of someone who needs a boost? I’m so happy that you and your readers will be able to make Christmas a little easier for some great people this year.

    A similar thing happened with a facebook group I belong to. One person said, wouldn’t it be great to give a Christmas dinner to a family in the North who has no access to food banks or affordable groceries? We decided to try and raise $900 and feed 9 families. Within a week we had raised $2500, and now have the happy task of telling upwards of 15 families (including extended family members) that we’ve taken care of their meal this year.

    It just gives you the warm and fuzzies inside.

  13. This year we “adopted” a family in the inner city for Christmas. We provided cash for their holiday meal, a gift card for the mom, and new toys, clothing, and pajamas for her sons. When I dropped that box full of goodies off with the volunteers at the organization on my lunch hour today, I was positively overflowing with REAL holiday spirit.

    That woman will have gifts for her children this year because of us.

    That’s what Christmas is really about, Charlie Brown.

    I’m in.

  14. Dang it! I just saw this and donations are closed. You are wonderful, Angela, and I very much appreciate you. Rock on with your bad motor scooter! (I might really like the group Cake. Just sayin’)

  15. The local news profiled a gentleman who devoted 2012 to doing 366 random acts of kindness, and on that day he was handing out candy canes to strangers at the train station. I saw it and seriously considered doing it next year. He seemed to glow with good cheer and it is really tempting me.

  16. This is wonderful! I just looked at a bunch of photos of gay couples getting married in Washington, and now this! My morning is filled with happy tears!

    Well done, readers, and you too Angela!

  17. yea! you made it! and, as a person in the retail/fast beverage arena, i wanted to point out that taking the time to talk to your clerks? is a gift in and of itself. so many times we are passed by and overlooked (even by people we see every day). kudos to you for taking the time.

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