Saturday, December 18, 2010

This Year's Christmas Project For Homeless Youth - I Am Desperately In Need Of Help And I'm Not Above Begging!

As it turns out, I am going to need a lot of last minute help with this year’s Christmas project for the homeless youth. I am so far behind on it due to my son’s recent health problems that I don’t even see how I can get it done without some kind of “Christmas Miracle”. But I can’t give up because it MUST be done – not only for the kids at Tumbleweed, but for my son as well.

See, when I offered to put together stockings and made the arrangements with Tumbleweed, it came up because the man who has been doing Christmas stockings for them every year was unable to do them this year. So, I stepped in and offered to do them since I already knew that I was not going to be able to dinner this year like I had last year. At the time it seemed perfectly “do-able”, but then my son started to get sick – and then sicker and sicker. Now I find myself nearly at the last minute and all I have are about five stockings, some toiletry items and a few small gifts.

Here is why this is so important: Not only will these homeless young people get no Christmas gifts if I drop the ball here, but also my son will feel like he caused it to happen. He has been in on this project since it first came up, so it’s not as if he isn’t aware that it’s come to such a halt. Of course his illness is not his fault, and I can comfort him and reassure him all I want, but I know my son – he is going to feel bad. He is already under tremendous stress, and stress aggravates his condition. I have to make this project happen – for the homeless kids and for him.

I am not above anything at this point. I will beg, I will plead, I will post my begging and pleading all over the place – anywhere I can. I will do whatever it takes. Please help me out here!

Here’s what you can do: Click here to see a list of needed items. If you can donate any of them, especially if you’re local here in Phoenix, please do. If you can’t do that but you’re able to toss a few dollars toward the project, click here to do that. Last, but most certainly not least – if you would, please post this blog anywhere you can. Tweet it, post it on your Facebook or MySpace, say something on your web site if you have one, etc. Anything to get the word out. Again, this is especially helpful if you are here in Phoenix or know people who are local here and might donate items (or time). But no matter where you are – I would so appreciate it if you would do this!

If you have any questions, you can always contact me at If you have concerns of want references so you can rest assured that I’m not some kind of scammer, I can easily provide you lots of those. If there’s anything at all you want to know, just drop me a line.

Thank you so much for reading, and please – please! – help out if you can!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Humbug. Down In The Dumps.

I do my best - really I do, and I'm generally pretty good at it - but even I sometimes can't pull myself out of a funk for a while. This Christmas season sucks.

In the last month and a half, my son has been in four different hospitals. Four emergency room trips, three ambulance rides, two extended hospital stays and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, okay, there was no partridge. But I'm trying to keep my humor here, people.

For a while I had to close my online booth (it's open again now, though - please visit!), and lately I can't even make or keep appointments because it seems every other day there's a new crisis with him. I've stood up the handyman, the plumber, and two of my own doctor's appointments. Shoot, he's missed his own doctor's appointments a couple of times because he ended up in the hospital first! So anyway, yeah, I'm down in the dumps.

I have no idea how Christmas is going to happen around here. We don't have a tree yet or a single decoration put up, and I haven't purchased a single gift. I am absolutely, positively determined that I will get my stockings project for the homeless youth done, come "hell or high water", as they say. But will I get Christmas to happen in this house? Gawd, I really don't know.

Well, keeping it short today. Here's hoping I will be back to my chipper ol' self pretty soon. Just wanted to put an update here for those who read. I try to keep it upbeat, but if I'm gonna be honest, I have to admit when times are hard, too.

Please keep my son in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Found a Great Article on Foster Kids and College

Someone tweeted this article today, and I am so glad they did. Many people may not understand the issues of foster kids trying to go on with adult life, and college is just one of the things that are particularly difficult for them. I will let the article speak for itself, as it is a very good and insightful look at the issue. If you're interested, you can find it here:

From Foster Care To College Life

I can certainly tell you from first hand experience that this article is spot-on when it comes to many of the challenges these kids face. My foster son still lives here at home, and he's 21 now and in his third year of college. Without the support system he has with us, I do not see how he could have made it so far. I wish I could take in more kids like him (someday I plan to do just that), but I have to be realistic about my own limited resources, being a single mom. I do hope that talking about my experiences with young people I've known, if not raised, will help shed light on their issues for people out there who don't know or understand what they face.

Thanks to all who take an interest in these great young people!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Really, really, really quick update on Christmas Stocking Project!

I only have a few moments tonight, but I want to throw out an update on the Christmas stocking project. I now have two volunteer helpers; if you'd like to be involved, just get in touch with me.

I have now received a complete list of names from the director of the Tumbleweed Drop-In Center, and we will be making a total of 50 personalized stockings for the homeless youth who utilize the center.

Quick list of things we'll be needing:

* Stockings (50) - Homemade or store-bought, of adequate size to accommodate a decent number of items (probably at least 18"), and suitable for puff-painting on the cuff part so we can personalize. **Note: I have found that they have perfectly suitable stockings for one dollar at Dollar Tree!

* Puff paints or other paints that will work for writing on fabric.

* Small sized toiletry items.

* Socks.

* Stocking-stuffer sized gifts.

* Lip balms.

* Gift cards.

* Telephone calling cards (particularly important because these young people used to be able to make necessary calls from the drop-in center, but due to budget cuts the center can no longer allow long-distance calls).

* Batteries.

* Wet-wipes.

* Snack-size food items.

* Small flashlights.

* Body sprays.

* Candy (particularly Christmas candy, of course).

This list is by no means "all inclusive", and I will most surely be adding to it later. If you have items you'd like to donate other than those I've listed, of course I will not turn anything away! All items are welcomed happily!

If you'd like to help out but just don't have the time or any items to donate, you are welcome to donate a few dollars with which we can purchase any needed items. I will be setting up a Chip-In page that allows you to donate through PayPal.

My online booth still isn't open (sorry) and I don't have the shoe drive fully put together yet, either (sorry), but there will be more info to come on that within the next few days.

Thanks for reading and I hope your holiday season is wonderful so far this year!