Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Best Kind of Gifts

There are a lot of posts and articles out there about getting the perfect gift, for a writer, for your significant other, for the person who has everything... Well it is the season for giving, and there's no shortage of options.

(Click here if you want to skip all the reading and go straight to the point of this post. Hint: it's something that will make you feel good inside)

I personally love this time of year because it's just so darned festive. I'd prefer if the festivities didn't start until December 1 and promptly ended on January 1 because I just find it to be a little too much. I'm only good for one month of overjoyedness, music, and excess by just about every conceivable measure. That being said, you can play me this clip of Clark Griswold every day of the year and I will love it just the same:



Oh, and for that matter, this one too:



It's all fine and dandy to give gifts to those you love, because why not? You love them and you enjoy seeing them happy and possibly receive something they really needed or would have not otherwise bought themselves. WestJet took this concept to great heights last year when they asked a bunch of people getting on a couple of their planes and asked them what they wanted for Christmas. By the time they landed all the stuff they asked for came out of the baggage claim. Here's the video in all it's awesomeness:



This year WestJet took this to a whole other level, and this gets straight to the point of my post this week. This year, WestJet went to a village in the Dominican Republic and asked them what they wanted for Christmas - and then gave everyone what they asked for, even the guy who asked for a horse - AND they build the kids a proper playground too:



And here we arrive at the point of this post. While this is the season for giving, and a lot of giving happens, there are people in need throughout the whole year, many involving people with special needs, as well as a good number of children. Too many children. So, I've decided to encourage people to help out in a couple of ways. It doesn't have to be a lot. Five bucks here or there can make a big difference, it really can.

The first is called "Blessings in a Backpack". This is an organization that sends kids home for the weekend with a backpack of food. These are kids who take advantage of the meal programs in schools during the week but go home with a cloud of uncertainty about how they will get their meals on the weekend. This campaign is being run by an old high school acquaintence of mine, Harv Glazer, and his family. Their goal is to feed 100 kids on the weekend for an entire school year.

You can read about the campaign and donate here.

The second involves a friend of a friend in Rhode Island. An autistic man, who is the son of my friend's friend, was struck by a car while at a crosswalk recently. He will survive but his recovery will be a long, arduous one. Due to the nature of his autism it is difficult to say how "old" he is, but understanding that we are all kids at heart it's not surprising to hear that he's a huge fan of Marvel Comics. I'm heading down to the comic book store and mailing him some ASAP so he can have a nice big stack of reading material to take his mind off the pain and the struggles he is going to face in the upcoming months. If you want to send some Marvel-ous (sorry, had to be done) comics or swag down his way you can get in touch with my friend Alex Kimmell on Twitter and he'll get you the info.

Finally, whatever you're celebrating and however you're celebrating it, I wish you all the best.

Namaste,
Andrew

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