Move. Help. Be Brave: Hope for the Holidays 2.0

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas season has officially started, and even though this year we have a couple extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it gets here so fast the older I get.

In my last post I talked about doing Hope for the Holidays again this year, and here is it. THE OFFICIAL POST.

Some back story on what we are doing here. I have been part of a community project of strangers helping strangers this time of year since 2011. It was amazing that first year when there was no planning or thinking about it. A stranger said something to another stranger about how hard Christmas was going to be and spontaneous giving began and exploded.

It was a little strange the way it all got started. People started telling their stories about empty bank accounts, losing jobs, parents and children who were sick. There were stories about kids old enough to understand that there just wasn’t any money for presents under the tree. There were stories about kids young enough that they wouldn’t know that there should be presents under the tree. There were stories about the empty corner where the tree should be, but that year there wasn’t going to even be a tree. People told how they struggle every week just to put food on their tables. People told how they have a job that covers the bills, but just the bills, and they weren’t even sure how they would put gas in the car to get to the job. As hard as it was to spill their guts, people shared their honest and hard truths to strangers.

And then there was the amazing people who could help. People with a little extra they could give. People who didn’t have children to buy for that wanted to help others be able to shop for their children. People who had never worried about how they were going to put food on the table and wanted to take that burden away from someone else. People who didn’t have money for gift cards but did have winter coats their children had grown out of and sent them to the mom struggling to buy her child a coat. There were people who the only extra they had was yarn and knitting needles, but they created hats, and scarves and mittens for kids that needed them. People gave with the faith that the stories were true and the hope that they could ease someone else’s burden just a little.

The next couple of years in happened again, with thought and planning, and it was good, too. Two years ago, the blogger who started it all had taken a break from blogging and couldn’t host it, so I took her idea, softened up the language a little, and brought it over here.

Two years ago, Hope for the Holiday’s didn’t help as many people as WANA ever did, but it was so awesome. From my small town in middle America, I was able get help to families as far away as Alaska. It was strangers helping strangers, giving a little bit of hope to those who may be feeling hopeless. I hope it moved everyone involved as much as it did me. You can read the post for the original Hope for the Holidays here.

Last year, WANA was back for its final year and I was struggling emotionally so I stepped back and just let it run over there. This past summer MODG shut her blog down completely. She was done and ready to walk away from her corner of the internet. And while I am sad that she isn’t writing anymore, I’m happy to be hosting Hope again this year.

I think especially after the extremely rough political season we just went through we all could use a little hope this year. Hope that not everyone is selfish or greedy or mean. Hope that there are people out there who care about other people. Hope that people are genuinely good and kind. Hope that people do want to reach out and help others when they can. So over here we are going to MOVE. HELP. and BE BRAVE.

So how is this all going to work?

The only way this works is if those who need some help, tell their stories, and those who can help, give. To ask for help please leave a comment below. Tell your story as much as you can. Be honest. Share what is going on and the specific help you are needing. At the top of your comment put *IN NEED* so it is easily spotted as a need. Tell your story and include your email address so people can contact you to help.

Here is an example of what a need should look like:

*IN NEED*

I’m stay at home mom and my husband has been out of work for several months. He just got a new job, but we are still trying to catch up from the time we were without income. We have two small boys, ages 8 and 6. They love trucks and dinosaurs and are so excited about Christmas, but I just don’t know if there will be anything under the tree. We are stretched so thin right now, sometimes I’m not sure after bills how we are going to put food on the table. We have family that would help, but they can’t afford to take care of us and we feel so guilty having to ask. If someone could just help a little bit it would mean so much to all of us. My email address is myname AT Hotmail DOT com.

That should give you an idea of the information to give. Feel free to give as much information as you are comfortable giving. Be sure to include your email address so people who want to help can contact you. If you leave it the way I did in the example, it is less likely spammers will find you. Once you have posted a need, please be patient.

For those who are wanting to GIVE, please reply to the comment on here so I can see that someone is helping. I will watch for those needs that get missed as more comments come in, but I won’t know who had received help, if you don’t leave a comment below.

Some important additional information. When leaving a comment, you do not have to use your real name. If you would like to be anonymous on this blog, you can be. Please include your real email address in the box for it because only I can see that and it gives me a way to contact you if I need to. Also, please check the box to be noticed of additional comments so you will know when someone has replied to you.

So here we go. This whole thing runs on faith and love.

MOVE. HELP. BE BRAVE.

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47 responses to “Move. Help. Be Brave: Hope for the Holidays 2.0

  1. *IN NEED*

    I don’t want to make this long and sappy. We don’t need much. I work part time in a group home. My husband works in pest control. Even though we both work we don’t have lots of extra money. I am happy that we can pay our bills but it doesn’t leave much for Christmas. We could really just use help getting something small for the kids or maybe with food. We have 3 amazing kids. I know they would understand if we explained the money situation but it isn’t something they need to worry about. Our oldest boy enjoys Harry Potter. My middle son loves Pokémon. And our little one(daughter) loves anything princess or Disney jr. any help or just prayers would be amazing. And I’d be forever grateful.

    You can reach me at fireball11139 AT gmail DOT com

  2. Mom of a 4 year old girl struggling to get by. Having a hard time making ends meet and I just want to see my daughters face light up on Christmas morning. She is in major need of some clothes and shoes/boots. As for toys she would love some barbies, ken, and some clothes. If it’s easier a lot of places de e-gift cards that can be sent right to my email so I can go out and purchase the gifts. It may sound silly, but until I found this blog I did not think I would be able to go Christmas shopping for my daughter and more then anything I just want to be able to shop for her. If you don’t want to send gift cards I can give more deals on what to get. Thank you thank thank you you can email me jrankins86@yahoo.com

  3. IN NEED. Single mom with a 20 yr old son and 17 yr old daughter. I had surgery a few months ago and have been struggling ever since I was off work recovering. I am back to work now but having a hard time keeping up with bills let alone groceries. I don’t qualify for assistance and the food pantry is only open when I am at work so I am unable to go there. What I am really needing this holiday season is a E-gift card to Walmart to get some groceries and maybe enough to get my kids each something small. It would be a great blessing! My email is lesneal74 at gmail dot com. Thank you so much!

  4. *IN NEED*
    Hi everyone! Well to start my name is Amanda and I’m a single mommy of 2 teen daughters (13 & 14). I was working at a little mom and pop store here to get by, but they had to sell their store in October so I’m stuck with 0 income until I find somewhere else. I feel horrible asking for help, but I’ve tried to apply for assistance at the salvation army, but once I got there, they were done taking applications. I’m literally out of options. My girls understand this, which I’m thankful for, but the necessities are my worry. They’ve both grown out of their coats and boots and the deep freeze is amongst us. Also any help with food would be amazing. Around this time of year the pantries are down to nothing. If there is anyone who could help us, you’d be saving our Holiday, and you can be sure it will be payed forward! My email is ishdice AT outlook DOT com thank you so much for reading my story!

  5. In Need

    I have a need. I am homeless now living out of a hotel with my 19 year old son who helps out the best he can and my 7 year old grandson and my 3 year old grandson. I have been to every agency to get help and after they calculate my past jobs they say I have made to much in past but I am not making anything now. So I get denied. The only thing we have is the daily fifty dollars that my son brings in and that goes to the weekly hotel rent. We owe weekly rent tomorrow and do not have it so we are going to do daily until we can do weekly again. My grandsons need shoes and clothes. But most importantly we have no food. I have cried and cried and I do not know what to do. This is the lowest I have ever been and it has been really hard. Back in June of this year I was hospitalized twice and one of those times was in for three weeks. Then coming out my job fires me and of course was a new job so not there long enough to pull anything from it. I have hospital papers and all and they still let me go. Then trying to bounce back from that my oldest grandson has just been released from Children’s Hospital here from a four week stay. This was really bad, so far the bills are coming in and it is past 50,000. But, Thanks to Jesus he heard our prayers and healed the both of us and now we are just trying to get by this winter in a hotel. I have no family or friends, lost family when I had mixed children have not heard from them since and friends when I decided years ago to go back to school and college. I keep telling myself that I am doing the right thing but feel like I am being punished for doing so. I am so lost right now. All I do is cry…. All I can do is pray and pray and pray Jesus hears our prayers.

    I just received a phone call just now saying my daughter passed. Not to sure what to do or how to feel. This will be the second child I lay to rest. Courts already given me custody of boys but not are asking about the other two. Please Pray for us.

      • Oh my goodness, thank you so much and please thank the person who is helping words cannot describe how bad we need the help right now. It has been really bad on my two grandsons with the loss and I have not purchased any decorations for the holidays. With needing food and weekly rent for the hotel and oldest grandson going back to school instead of home school have had to purchase clothes for him. Was just going to give up on all of it. It is just stressful enough with my 19 year old son working and contributing and then everything I get goes in as well and we still come up short. Thank you so much, in tears right now, God thank you.

  6. IN NEED**
    Hello my name is Staci my email is staciann09 at live dot com. I am a single mother of 2. My daughter is 5 and my son is 3. I struggle year round to provide for my children by just trying to pay bills and provide food on the table. Christmas/ birthdays are always the hardest part of the year because I can’t afford much of anything. My kids are so young they dont understand my struggles as a single mother. This time of year they are in need of winter clothes and coats,gloves, boots, etc. My daughter loves frozen and any princesses. My son is into action hero’s, and ninja turtles. Anything what so ever would be amazing if anybody could help out…my kids are not picky!! If anybody is able to help just a little I would be very very thankful. I just want my children to wake up Christmas morning with something even 1 used gift a piece would be the greatest feeling as a parent in the world.
    Thanks to anybody who even takes the time to read my post!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!! 🙂

  7. “In Need”
    First off I would like to Thank you for this site for us in need. Im a single Mom of 2 boys (7 & 10) I work and unexpected bills came in this month my car broke and have put it in the shop and making payments to have it fixed have to have radiator fixed, so its a big set back along with all the normal bills. Im having a hard time putting food on table and getting something small for the boys. Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated I live close to Walmart and Kroger. Thank you so much.
    tamsuehawkins AT gmail dot com

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  9. **In Need**
    Between my husband and I we have 7 little ones. My husband was let go from his job due to cut backs and last week I just started my new job (thank goodness). The only bad thing to my job is my first check won’t be until after Christmas. Our Little ones range from 1-13 Boy 1, Boy 5, Boy 9, Boy 13, Girl 3, Girl 7 Girl 12. Two of the girls also have birthdays this month as well one is the day after Christmas and the other is 3 days before Christmas. We have been struggling to pay the bills and really struggling on how we are going to have a Christmas for our baby’s. Salvation Army is out of space for help and don’t have anywhere else to turn. I hate to even ask for help but some time things happen out of our control. Luckily the older ones understand but the littler one’s wont. All they are talking about is when will Santa be here and we just don’t know how to tell them Santa might not come this year. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you so much in advance. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Merry Christmas
    Raeejae at yahoo dot com

  10. My name is Sierra & my husband is named Kyle..have been married 6 years, We have 4 Children together & my husband Kyle is currently laid off from work due to the cold weather. Im working part time making minimum wage, but we are struggling to pay bills, we are behind half a months rent due to our only vehicle breaking down, so after paying to fix our van couldnt pay a full months rent. Kyle has been job searching trying to find something for the meantime to help with our financial problem until he is called back to work but hasnt had much luck. We are just very upset this time of year for our children because they dont know how much we are struggling, & wouldnt really understand if we would tell them because they are so young, just feel horrible because its not their fault & i know its not about the gifts,but they are younger & they keep asking about Santa, &” they’ve been good all year because santa’s watching.”.it just breaks my heart when they talk about it because we are so stressed out as it is trying provide daily with necessities idk how we will pull Christmas off this year. 😥 It has just been a very hard winter so far for our family. I guess when it rains it pours! As of right now I really dont think we will be able to afford to give the kids any presents…im not really too sure how this blog works but if there is anyone out there who could help give our children each a gift to open Christmas morning it would litterally bring me to tears of joy. I dont care if they are used presents,just any type of help we would be very thankful! We have 2 girls & 2 boys.My oldest daughter is 6 named Raelyn, next is my son who is 4 named tyler, then daughter Nicole who is 3…and last but not least son named Roman…who is 2. My email is sierrakay15 at yahoo dot com. Thanks ahead of time to anybody reading this. Like i said not sure how all this works but im guessing if anybody is able to help me at all they’d email me with more details. Thanks

  11. *In Need*

    Hello my name is Angie and I could use some help this holiday season. My husband and I have 2 children of our own who are 19 and14. We recently just got custody of my 4 nieces and nephews who were not in a good home environment. Their ages are 8,11,13,and 15. We were both working full time jobs but I have now had to cut back my hours to try and reestablish our household. We usually are the ones giving to others around the holidays but this year it seems like a challenge. I am not asking for a whole lot. All of these kids are just happy to be in a stable environment and actually have a bed to sleep in. We were very happy to open our home. Our biggest need right now is groceries. My biggest struggle is trying to keep up with 4 boys and 2 girls. Plus ourselves with food. I have been able to get the nessecities like socks, underwear etc. We are going to try to get each child a small gift card to target or Walmart to get some clothes that they like but they do understand they may have to wait a bit. If anyone is able to help with gift cards, target or Walmart is what is closest to us. I understand that this is kind of a big family to help and I understand if no one is able to. Thank you for taking the time reading this and thank you for allowing people to post needs and thanks to the people willing to help.
    My email is: angelasaint AT yahoo dot com.

    • Just wondering if anyone has received any help yet? We are in desperate need of food. I can only use our food shelf once a month and it wasn’t much at all. Thank you

      • Hello, I’m just wondering if anyone knows of any other programs out there that help around the holidays? We missed the toys for tots deadline which our kids/nieces/nephews are kinda older any how so I’m not sure how that would have worked or maybe they do gift cards, I’m not sure. We are still in need if anyone is helping or if someone knows of anywhere else. It’s coming very fast and I’m not sure what to do.

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  13. *****IN NEED****
    (posted few days ago, havent heard anything. Thought maybe because i forgot to write in need at top of comment….thanks)
    sierrakay15 at yahoo dot com

    My name is Sierra & my husband is named Kyle..have been married 6 years, We have 4 Children together & my husband Kyle is currently laid off from work due to the cold weather. Im working part time making minimum wage, but we are struggling to pay bills, we are behind half a months rent due to our only vehicle breaking down, so after paying to fix our van couldnt pay a full months rent. Kyle has been job searching trying to find something for the meantime to help with our financial problem until he is called back to work but hasnt had much luck. We are just very upset this time of year for our children because they dont know how much we are struggling, & wouldnt really understand if we would tell them because they are so young, just feel horrible because its not their fault & i know its not about the gifts,but they are younger & they keep asking about Santa, &” they’ve been good all year because santa’s watching.”.it just breaks my heart when they talk about it because we are so stressed out as it is trying provide daily with necessities idk how we will pull Christmas off this year.😥 It has just been a very hard winter so far for our family. I guess when it rains it pours! As of right now I really dont think we will be able to afford to give the kids any presents…im not really too sure how this blog works but if there is anyone out there who could help give our children each a gift to open Christmas morning it would litterally bring me to tears of joy. I dont care if they are used presents,just any type of help we would be very thankful! We have 2 girls & 2 boys.My oldest daughter is 6 named Raelyn, next is my son who is 4 named tyler, then daughter Nicole who is 3…and last but not least son named Roman…who is 2. My email is sierrakay15 at yahoo dot com. Thanks ahead of time to anybody reading this. Like i said not sure how all this works but im guessing if anybody is able to help me at all they’d email me with more details. Thanks

  14. IN NEEd
    My name is christopher. Single dad of 3. 2 girls age 7&5, son is 4. Im not sure if this is a legit website for help. Im not one to ask for help but my gf childrens mother recently left me, and left all 3 kids behind as well. Ive always been provider now im paying for babysitters so i canvstill work. Its been hard on them. So money has been very tight. I missed a week of work due to all this &trying to find sitter so lost a weeks pay. If anyone xan help or direct me to somewhere to get help please let me kno. Thanks my emil is chris.smith 68 at yahoo dot com

  15. In need
    Hello everyone, my name is Joan I am a grandmother of 5 & currently in care of 3 of my grandbabies. They are ages 6(Vanessa) 4(Brianna) and 3(Derek). They were placed in my care a week before Thanksgiving. Its been a pretty rough road for them but being a grandma Its hard on me raising such young kids. I live off social security so providing for them has kind of been a struggle. If anyone could help with anything at all that would make my babies so happy. We could use food, as well as maybe some winter clothing. I’m hoping to find someone or some where that can help us out this holiday season. If anybody knows of any places to get help or presents this time of year please pass the info along. Thanks ahead of time to whoever may read my post. I actually found this site off google while searching for help with Christmas. Figured its worth a shot to post our dilemma. Thanks ! 🎄 ❄😃

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  17. “In Need”
    My name is Suzie Im currently in a bad situation and this maybe late but my friend told me about this site and I could use her internet to see if I can get help for Christmas for my 3 babies. Nolan (3) Savannah (6) and Logan (9) . Anything would be appreciated I live close to Walmart and Kroger, I have nothing for them for a gift my heart is breaking knowing they will have nothing under our little tree. I work part time and it barely gets the bills paid. I have been Praying for a miracle to happen and nothing has as of yet. Thank you for this site and all that you do. you can email me at.
    susanaistrop043 AT Gmail dot com

  18. IN NEED
    Im hoping Im not to late to be asking for help with Christmas only 2 days away. Im a mother of 2 girls Ava is turning 2 on the 26th and Aria is 5 , were having a hard time since their father passed away 3 months ago, medical bills from his illness and other pat bills Im trying to catch up on. I just recently went back to work last month. I could use a lil help if its not to late maybe for a gift of food. Thank you and God Bless.
    jenreid020582 AT gmail dot com