With Love From Laura: The Gift of Giving

As I make a list for my children for Christmas I have to be honest; I have mixed emotions. What is one more toy going to produce? Yet, I can’t wait to see their faces when they see something they desire.

I think back on special gifts I received as a child and remember my American Girl doll, Addie, or my new Macbook computer. Both gifts I asked for and was more than happy to receive. Yet, I had to stretch to remember those gifts. When I think about the holidays, what easily comes to mind is memories of giving. Whether handing out food on Thanksgiving day, knocking on doors as we let families know about free immunizations, or cold nights where my parents brought us to give out sack dinners: those memories seem so fresh and will remain ever precious. I am far more thankful for the gift of giving than I am any tangible gift that my parents gave.  The gift of giving helped shape me into the woman I am today.

So as I write my list this season, I hope to give my two children the gift of giving, and I hope that other families will join us. From young couples who yearn for a sense of purpose on Christmas morning to the older couple whose children have left the nest and who may feel a void on the holidays.

This season, I plan to give the gift of a memory through Mission Holiday. Mission Holiday is an effort to give ESP a home for the holidays. ESP is a place where individuals are thriving every day yet our facilities are a far cry from thriving. We are so close to our goal of a new home for ESP and I think the holidays could be the time that make our dreams possible.

By going to Planttheflag.org and choosing “Mission Holiday”- you can give the gift of giving to yourself and your family. ESP will deliver a wrapped box with one of our yellow flags to your home to go under your tree.  Inside, you will find a letter from ESP that you can read aloud to your family on Christmas morning sharing the difference your family is making along with a flag to place by your mailbox showing your support to the individuals of ESP.

Here is my 2-year-old Finley. We have proudly planted our flag, and I look forward to reading a letter to my kids on Christmas, reminding them what the day is truly all about— giving, memories and love.

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