The Gift of Hope | @HeatherR297 #12Days4Good

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“Hope is an embrace of the unknown” – Rebecca Solnit

Hope. You never know where it will come from or when it will arrive. Sometimes you don’t even realize when you are giving this gift to someone in need. It can be as complex as food in the belly and a roof over heads, or as simple as a smile.

In the spirit of hope, I feel it is time I share a slice of my story.

My early years, from very young to budding teens, I grew up requiring the kindness from my community to get by. Food banks filled my cupboards and Christmas gifts came from strangers. These strangers never met me. They did not know my name, my age, my personality, or anything I was going through. Strangers who did not realize they were gracing me with a very special gift; the gift of hope.

One year, as I did for many years, I unwrapped my Christmas gift from a mysterious soul. I pulled back the wrapping to reveal a Swiss Army watch.  The watch was beautiful. Usually these Secret-Santa-like gifts would reveal a warm pair of socks or a pack of mittens.  I could not believe that someone would gift so generously.

I never wore the watch. Instead I kept it in its box, with hinges opening to reveal it’s contents. I did not wish to have it broken, worn or lost, for that gift was more than it’s hands to tell time. It was more than the dollars it cost to purchase. It was more than the name branded on the box. That watch was a sign of hope.

In the dark days, where hope seems unfathomable, I sit on the floor and hold that watch. Admire its craftsmanship and dream of the gifter. What were they like? Had I ever met them? Passed them on the street with a smile?  

How did they live? Did they spend their days in a factory and come home dirty at the end of the day? Did they wear a suit and tie to work, outfit complete with a similar timepiece? Would I ever be able to afford such a gift myself?

One never knows the effect they may have on others, or the need that person has for such a gesture. Whether it be a smile, a door held, a gift, or something more.

I’ll never know the person who sent that watch through our community to my hands.  That person will never know how that gift brought me hope for years to come. How I would stare at it and dream up a better life. How I built that better life, in time.

There is a child out there, a teenager, a mother, a father, who is in need of a little hope this Christmas. How will you impart this a gift on the soul in need?

by Heather Riemersma

Heather is today’s featured Do Gooder for #12Days4Good. You can learn more about Heather at 12days4good.com and share the gift of hope!

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