Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more……
Wow, wow wow!!! We have had a pretty exciting couple of weeks and have watched our community come together in a way that truly inspires us, motivates us and makes us feel so grateful to share in this with all of YOU! So I want to update you on what’s been happening and introduce you to a few more amazing people who, have truly given with their hearts; with no strings attached, no criteria to meet or no forms to fill out.
Just like all of YOU have been doing since we launched Linking Lives.
To begin, we want to give a big shout out to ALL of our local politicians; who we view as neighbors, partners and integral members of our community. Each and every one of them, who took time out of their busy schedules to meet with two crazy women, on a mission to unite our community and reduce poverty, were gracious, and supportive of our efforts. We often stress over how we will be perceived before these meetings, after all who are we? A 52-year-old woman, still trying to claw her way out of poverty, on EI and looking for work just like many of those we serve & a 28-year-old mom of three young children, on maternity leave, who sometimes struggles to make ends meet- just like those we provide grocery cards to! But…They DID listen to us, they cared about the issues we brought forward and we genuinely believe they will ALL work diligently to help those they were elected to serve, when called upon to do so. So hats off to them all!
Next let’s talk Christmas; ‘tis the season!
After a slight bump in the road we began collaborating with some fantastic, community minded, and big-hearted partners to bring some Christmas Kindness to those who need it most in our community. Our 2016 community heroes’ sponsorship program has received an overwhelming response from YOU, the community, and because of your kindness and generosity at least 50 families will wake up on December 25th with joy in their hearts and the knowledge that someone in their community cared about THEM! That’s a beautiful thing folks; our hearts are full! Fredericton really is so full of giving people and since day #1 that has impacted us in ways that are beautifully indescribable! We have been busy sending personalized mini family bios to each community hero allowing them to connect to their chosen family in a more meaningful way. Maegan has worked tirelessly in order to match people in such a way so as to highlight their shared commonalities rather than their differences. Your feedback in response to these has been heartwarming and this has truly been an extraordinary experience for us both. Honestly, it is difficult to adequately relate to you, in words, how grateful we are to you all for believing in us, for getting involved, for caring, and for giving so readily every time we ask!
Several local businesses are also sponsoring families (who will ALL be acknowledged in future blogs/posts) but I would like to highlight just a few here starting with Go-Go Gymnastics, YOU guys blew us away with your offer to sponsor 11-15 families; how amazing is that? East Coast Chiropractic; who we did a promotional video with that you should check out on Facebook if you need a laugh today (I look like the not-so friendly giant in it) is not only sponsoring a family, but also giving back to those who donate to that endeavor through an awesome rewards program. Escape Logic Games contacted US offering to donate a gift certificate; a nice twist considering we normally do the asking! Then there’s Yards Apart Landscape & Design, (Alex Matheson) a brand spanking new business owner in Fredericton who has generously donated $1000 to purchase gift cards for our event at Porter’s Diner; without being solicited for it I might add; just wonderful right!?! As for Paul Porter, Velvet and Porter’s Diner; wow…just WOW! So here’s the deal: after a happenstance meeting (the best kind) with Paul, he unexpectedly offered to provide a venue & Christmas dinner to those we work with stating, quite matter-of-factly: “I have 130 seats in my diner, if you can fill it I will feed them all.” WHAT!! Well we took that as a direct challenge Paul and can happily report we have 126 confirmed attendees as of today! When we met with Paul and his restaurant manager Velvet to discuss the event we were so impressed by their big hearts, their generosity and their humility; yes tears were involved. We discovered Paul & his staff have been involved in many charity efforts over the years including fundraisers as well as random acts of kindness, all behind the scenes, and asking nothing in return. They are the real deal friends; good, kind compassionate people who give selflessly. But wait…it doesn’t end there! Paul asked if all of our volunteers would be able to attend the December 11th event but as we have upwards of 130 now, it just isn’t possible so he then offered to host a Volunteer Appreciation dinner now booked for January 15th. AMAZING. On top of ALL of that kindness he also offered us some radio ad space to promote our organization and your good works! Unbelievable….we were speechless; a condition neither of us experiences often. Porter’s does community right! Last but certainly not least in our books, meet Scott MacKay; Sound for Change’s founder and just an all-around great guy who, among other things, hosts fundraisers with talented local musicians to raise money for various community causes. He is partnering with us on the Porter’s Christmas Kindness event and will be there providing live Christmas music for everyone’s enjoyment. Sound for Change is also contributing resources to this event and will sponsor their own family as well! Sound for Change ROCKS…literally! 😉
We will never be able to adequately thank YOU ALL for supporting these campaigns and indeed your community; you are our HEROES!
“It’s a better place since you came along”
Finally, Linking Lives Inc. does not just involve Maegan, Tyler, Robyn and I as there are so many others that share in this journey of the heart with us. Our volunteers are the best, seriously, THE BEST and while I can’t possibly name you all I would like to thank you each for the vital contribution YOU make, for always showing up, sharing our posts, and for your efforts to help unite our community and reduce poverty. To you, our community, who support our efforts, donate to our cause, or promote community kindness in any way: THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without each and every one of YOU! Change is happening because our community is coming together and we are so honored to play a small role in that movement. We feel the shift, witness the many selfless acts occurring daily in our community, and believe strongly that with sustained efforts Fredericton WILL become that shining beacon of hope that will prove to others that poverty reduction is possible when we support each other and work together!
Community Heroes you are all invited to a reception on December 18th (12pm – 4pm) at 133 King Street to share some holiday cheer, hot chocolate & cookies with us while receiving the address for your chosen family before heading out to deliver the goodies. If you opted for us to deliver you can drop off your hamper at this location or call us for pick-up. We are trying to get all the bios/wish lists out to you all as quickly as possible and promise to have this done no later than December 1st! Thanks
Christmas Kindness at Porter’s Diner (by invitation only), December 11th (6pm)- For our special guests; please let us know if you will need transportation to the event as we have a number of volunteers who will be providing this service to those who need it. To our volunteers who are decorating-we will need to be at Porter’s for 4pm and those providing transportation will be assigned a family and provided with their address soon! We are still in need of unwrapped “Santa” gifts (children ages 6 months to 18 years), gift cards, wrapping paper, bows and name tags so if you would like to contribute to this please contact us and help us make this a memorable night for all! Thanks
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”-Lao Tzu
To donate or learn how you can get involved please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/linkinglives1by1/