Well as you all know the Christmas time of year is a very busy one for me. I am typically flying all over the country, trying to spend time with my family and also keeping up with my weekly blogs and answering questions on our Live! community. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into one single day, but somehow I always manage to get it done. One thing I never forget about is my ChristmasForKids.us charity work that I started a few years ago. It started literally from just an impulse “grabbing” of over 20 angel tree kids while I was walking through the mall a few years back and it has grown into something that has touched so many lives in such a positive way.
I started this charity work to bring together underprivileged children and young adults who may not have the financial ability to donate money during the holidays. This opportunity allows them to still give back by simply donating their time, love and attention to others less fortunate. It’s been an incredible thing for me to see how excited and how motivated these young adults are to go out and spend hours shopping for these little kids. What’s so great is we always make sure they get everything on their list, plus some additional gifts as well.
This year saw my ChristmasForKids.us charity expand quite a bit all the way to Seattle, Washington. An organization called “Childhaven” for kids who’ve had abusive parents needed some help sponsoring and shopping for children. I have always wanted to expand into something more than just helping in Mississippi so it seemed like a great opportunity. Luckily for me my girlfriend and her entire family are just as generous and motivated to help as I am. They actually introduced me to the opportunity as it’s something they do every year. (Side Note: To anyone looking for the “right person” to settle down with make sure it’s one who shares the same charitable beliefs you have instilled in you. I can’t tell you how excited I am that my girlfriend AND her whole family are the same way I am. I was raised to be this way because I have such a wonderful, loving and giving family. It’s great to find someone else who was raised by great parents to be such a caring person).
Anyway I sponsored 5 kids from Childhaven in Seattle, Washington and my girlfriends parents sponsored 15! This allowed us to take care of 20 kids who no doubt have had some rough times in their lives. Being able to put a smile on their faces, even if just for one day, is absolutely PRICELESS. Here are some pictures from our shopping efforts:
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Our trip to Seattle to help Childhaven was a blast. So many toys (as you can see above) and so many little kids will have a smile on their faces! I’d like to thank my girlfriends family for opening up the opportunity to me and I am sure it is something I will continue to help them with each and every year. Our normal ChristmasForKids shopping is done in Mississippi for the Angel Tree program. Again this year we were able to help out by selecting 21 children from the tree to purchase gifts for, but this year we were on a tight time frame. Due to all my traveling I got home with only a few days left until the Salvation Army wasn’t accepting gifts anymore. I got everyone together and we began shopping for these kids and again it was just too much fun. We had bikes, scooters, Dora dolls and just a ton of other things. I’ve learned more about kids toys in the last couple years than I ever thought imaginable. My mom and dad are the reason I love doing this so much. They raised me to be compassionate and care about other people. I always give thanks to them for everything they taught me growing up. I also thank everyone that helped us with the shopping for these Angel tree kids. Here are some pictures from our shopping:
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A special thanks to my brother Adrian Morrison who helped fund the ChristmasForKids shopping event this year. He has grown into such a mature and successful businessperson and I am very proud of who he has become. Just a few years ago I remember him as the kid who just wanted to play Xbox and now he’s successful in his own right and helping me fund a charity event that I am extremely passionate about.
Our last charity event of the year is something we have been doing now since 2008. So many times we forget that children are dramatically affected by the things they experience when they are so young and impressionable. In 2008 I was introduced (by my mom) to the burn center and what they were doing for children who have been through the trauma of being burned. In 2008 I met a little boy, Kameron, who had been burned just week before this event. His face was almost white from the burns and surgeries and he was completely silent. It was hard to get him to say one single word to me that day. I tried my best to make him smile but even the sight of Xbox games and toys didn’t really help. In 2009 Kameron was back again and looking a little better. His face wasn’t “as white” and his scars were not “as bad” but you could still tell he was going through some pain and depression. A brand new PSP and a ton of games (and even a BB gun per his mom’s permission) did make him crack a smile, but you could tell him was still just in pain both inside and out. He’s such a sweet kid and it’s hard for us as people to realize what these kids are going through if we have no prior experience in our lives. In 2009 just a week or so after we did this event my mom spilled a hot grease pan on her hands. Immediately she was in the hospital and her hands looked horrific. I have to say it was the worst thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Watching her go through that pain and with nothing that could help her I began to realize exactly what these kids were dealing with. My mom only burned her hands, now imagine your entire face? back? chest? it’s almost unfathomable. This is why we should ALL help these kids have just one day of smiles and happiness.
This year in 2010 I was delighted to see Kameron again for the 3rd year in a row. What a difference another year has made! His face looks almost completely perfect and he was even talking to me a good bit. He brought along his brother (who is adorable by the way) and we had a blast. Kameron apparently is really into “gaming” so we stuck with the theme grabbing him a Wii and a ton of games. We also got his brother a few games and some movies also. We had so much fun and I have to say it was and always is the highlight of my year to spend an hour or so with this kid. Below are some picture from our shopping this year in all there were almost 100 kids from the burn center that had one day of happiness and normality in their lives because of this organization. It’s a wonderful thing they are doing and I am excited to continue helping to the best of my ability.
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That wraps up this years charity work for ChristmasForKids. I post this stuff each year so you can experience this with me (as best as possible through the Internet) and maybe this post and these moments will inspire people who read this to do what you can to help other people. It’s not always about giving financially so many of these kids just need a friend or someone to brighten up their day. We should all do what we can to be a positive influence on these kids as they are the adults of our future. The more positivity we can instill in them as young kids the more they will have as grown adults. As I always say “think for a minute” what can you do to make a difference?
**I want to say a special thank you to Kameron’s mom. She drives over 2.5 hours to bring Kameron to this event. I know you are going through some personal trauma of your own right now, but I want you to know our entire family thinks you are a great mother. You have so many great things in store for you and your family. Kameron is going to grow up to be a great young man. Stay positive and focus on the great things in your life (your kids are so adorable) and God will bring you positivity and prosperity. As always it’s such a pleasure spending time with you and your kids. To Kameron I told you I would talk about you here on the blog ?. Enjoy basketball season and maybe if I am in town long enough I can make the drive and come see you play! Continue to focus on all the good things in your life and be thankful everyday that you now look back to normal as your doctors have done a fabulous job. Enjoy your Wii and I look forward to seeing you and your little brother again soon.