A Happy Helpful Holiday Season

 

When the holidays rolled around, we continued to be our helpful little elves and brought smiles to a lot of people in North Texas. From those experiencing homelessness, to a single mom struggling to make ends meet, to surprising kids and teens with a “wheelie” cool surprise – we were happy to make the holidays a little more special for everyone.

 

We partnered with our friends at Dallas Life, a homeless recovery center located near Downtown Dallas, to bring holiday meals to their residents. Dallas Life is a non-profit organization and the largest homeless shelter in North Texas housing up to 500 people each night. The meals were delicious – chicken, turkey, greens, potatoes, veggies and more. Everyone was so happy to have a nice catered meal. Not only that, but we served everyone their meals to their tables and cleaned up for them thereafter – ensuring everyone felt special during our time with them. One resident shared, “Thank you guys for serving today, it was very kind of you! One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time!” We also provided every guest with a beanie, gloves, and a scarf to continue to keep them warm during the cold winter months. We wish everyone at the Dallas Life Center well, and look forward to volunteering with them again in the future.

 

Our friends at Children’s Health Medical Center in Dallas shared a story about one of their patients – he’s 3 years old and is diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. He has a 5 year old brother, and they live with their mom. His mom struggles to make ends meet – from doctor’s appointments, to working multiple jobs, to not being able to afford rent, baby supplies, and more – it’s been a real struggle for their family since they’ve moved to Texas a few years ago. So, we came to help. We surprised the family with diapers, baby wipes, household supplies, two car seats, a double stroller, a wagon to help transport the kids together when they’re out on walks or when they’re in the hospital, some toys, and the biggest surprise? We paid their rent for the month. The kids were so excited about the gifts; they hopped in the wagon, belted themselves in the stroller, and danced along to the music playing from their new toys. Mom couldn’t hold back her tears sharing her extreme gratitude for the help her family received for the holidays. We send warm wishes and love to this special family, and hope our new little friend’s health continues to get better as he gets older.

 

The helpfulness didn’t stop there. We visited our friends at Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star to bring “wheelie” helpful surprises to the ‘Littles,’ with some help from their ‘Bigs.’ As the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 5 through young adulthood in communities across the country. The pairs were invited to an afternoon of, what they thought, was a volunteer event for them to participate – they were told they were going to build bicycles to donate to others in the area. But, to their surprise, the bikes were actually for them! “I can’t wait to ride my new bike to my friend’s house! Thank you for the new bike!” Having their Bigs with them made the event even more special – it was another way for them to bond and have an activity they could do together. One of the Bigs shared, “So glad that I got to do this with my little brother! This is awesome.” We also brought some crafts and pizzas for everyone, played some music, provided locks and helmets to keep everyone safe, and invited a safety officer to ensure everyone knew the rules to being safe on the road. We look forward to working with this group in the future. They definitely put smiles on our faces, and we hope we were able to do the same for them.

 

So what’s next for us? We want to recognize people that have been helpful in your community. Know anyone? Make sure to reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their story – you never know.  They might be on the receiving end of a another … Random Act of Helpfulness.