The holidays are upon us ~ literally as I post this during Christmas Week ~ with just a few days to go before we celebrate our winter holiday and enjoy time together with family and friends. In late November I was contacted by Cepia, LLC, the makers of the exceptionally popular Zhu Zhu Pets, to join them in their 2010 Holiday Random Acts of Zhu Program. The nationwide program connected 100 Bloggers with 100 Zhu Zhu Pets to be donated to each Blogger’s local community to their charity of choice that serves children in need who might not otherwise receive a holiday gift this year. Its Cepia’s hope that the end result isn’t just 10,000 smiles, but 100 lives touched to give randomly, since this came out of the blue and enabled us to all give generously in a way we might not otherwise be able to. And by giving us that holiday blessing, Cepia is hoping to inspire anyone who learns about Random Acts of Zhu to give without expectation and to those who least expect it.
I was overwhelmed with compassion, humility, and pure joy being part of Random Acts of Zhu. Yes this was a social media outreach by a smart company, harnessing its ability to engage with the spirit of generosity to deliver a well timed campaign that could meet an obvious need with their product, toys to children during the holidays. But I was stunned to realize how this project left me hungry to always feel that fulfilled in my work and so connected to my community. Thanks to my local elementary school guidance counselor, I discovered The Christmas Store. Looking for more than just a toy drop off, from the outset I felt challenged to share an experience with you that would clearly demonstrate that you CAN give your Time, your Talent, and your Treasure in ways that will make a difference. While I was able to share the Treasure of Random Acts of Zhu, I personally was able to bring my Time and my Talent to The Christmas Store, volunteering with my family as the event unfolded. My husband, daughter, and I wrapped gifts while our sons served by taking clients to their cars to assist them in loading the packages they had selected.
The unexpected humility and grace in this experience wasn’t just for those it serves. Our sons found themselves fumbling to recall their rusty Spanish, as a great number of clients during our shift happened to be Spanish speaking. Both stated they realized they’ll need to keep their language electives in their long term schedules to be more successful in a diverse world. Our sons came face to face with the raw emotion that a random act of kindness can create. Both served one client who was in tears as they loaded her beat up, dented car with the gifts, and as teenagers in a world that is so often about being cool and invincible, it touched them deeply as they realized so many of the clients were Moms alone struggling to keep their families afloat. Our sons wondered about the lives of these people, noticed how different their lives have been, and asked how the people they met would make it through the year. They noticed how many Moms visited the counseling tables not just for prayer but thanks to Western Wake Ministries, they could find support in other ways their family might night like paying their heating bill or finding groceries. And our daughter was thrilled to be wrapping gifts for children just like her, completely delighted that in some ways she was just like one of Santa’s Elves, making magic with beautiful paper and bows.
So I find myself thanking Cepia, LLC for inviting me to be part of Random Acts of Zhu 2010. I had no idea how saying yes would impact our family. We’ve discovered a opportunity for us to give as a group, at the same time, and each in a different way that matches our skill sets and interests. We’ve all agreed to this new family tradition and are already looking forward to doing more next year. As well, here at GO MOM!, I’ll be sharing a regular series about how you can give of your Time, Talent, and Treasure no matter how brief, unique, or small it may be, all year long. I hope it inspires you to commit Random Acts of Kindness as a result of learning about Random Acts of Zhu.
Blessings to you and your family ~ enjoy your holidays!
Have you committed a Random Act of Kindess this holiday season? Tell us here!
For more photos of my visit to The Christmas Store, visit our GO MOM! Facebook Fan Page!