I haven’t written you a letter since I was a little girl. I see different posts on Facebook of people wanting lavish and expensive things. I am not one of those people. I am writing for a different reason.
I can go on and on about what I WANT for Christmas this year. I can tell you there is more on my needs list, as well as my childrens’ needs list.
My children need a toy box. I can’t afford one and have been using an old laundry basket. I know you will be good to my children this year, along side my friends and family. I would like a toy box to accomodate all of the toys they will receive in addition to what they already have.
Aiyana, my 3 year old, would really like a nice gym bag to put her ballet things in. Again, I cannot afford to do so. It would be great for her to have one to keep her ballet things together in one place. She would also like a jogging suit or something similar to wear over her leotard and tights going to and coming from ballet class.
Aoife, my 1 year old, she is content with just about anything. She has taken a strong liking to baby dolls lately. Is there anything you can do to help with a soft baby doll for my baby?
As for me, my needs list seems forever long but it really isn’t. Santa, I need clothing. I am losing weight and can’t afford to replace what I have. I really want to look professional when I go to work but instead, I look frumpy and unkempt.
I don’t like to rely on others to help me in my time of need. Maybe it is my pride getting in the way. Maybe it’s because I care more about making sure my kids have a home to lay their heads, a bed to sleep comfortably, clothing to keep warm and food to keep healthy.
I would rather make sure I help others before I help myself. I know what it is like to be without. (My girls always come first.)
Santa, something I would love to do is start a non-profit organization for single parents and children that have suffered serious hardships to include homelessness, hunger, unemployment, illness and many other things life throws at them.
You know my story but no one else really knows, except those closest to me.
Here is why I would love to start a non-profit for single parents and children:
This time 2 years ago, my daughter Aiyana and I lived in a homeless shelter for 4 months. It was better than most. We lived in a townhome with other single mothers and their children. I couldn’t afford Christmas on what I was making. I was still on medical leave from work due to neck surgery. The little bit of income I had was from disability payments and state assistance for food. The shelter helped with Christmas presents and it was great.
At the end of the 4 months, Aiyana and I were fortunate enough to get into transitional housing. Last year, I couldn’t really afford Christmas either. Luckily, the organization that owns this house, helped with Christmas. I bought a few things and let some bills go.
During this time, I also received assistance for daycare in addition to food assistance.
Once I started my new job, I lost all my state assistance. I was told $36,000 a year was too much income to receive any aid. Bare in mind, this is based on gross income, not net. After taxes and health care, I bring home a little more than half of that a year.
This year, my dad and Linda helped the girls and me by purchasing a live Christmas tree, lights and ornaments. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had a tree.
For Christmas this year, the organization helped again with Christmas presents. My ex-husband, Sherman, and his wife, Michellene, are also helping with Christmas.
As I type this out, tears are streaming down my face. I have definitelty made some huge accomplishments in the last two years. I have increased my income by almost triple, completed the first of 3 college degrees and have been raising my girls on my own with minimal help. I just feel like something is missing.
I feel like I should be paying forward all that has been done for the girls and me these last 2 years. It has been a struggle. (I have kept my situation in a nutshell.)
I want to help people that are struggling; those who feel like there is no way to get out of the hole. I want to mentor these people, support them on their journey to happiness. I want to reach out to anyone and everyone that is a single parent that feels like all hope is lost.
Maybe you aren’t the person I should be asking. Maybe it’s God. Either way, I need someone or a group of someones that are willing to help the community. I don’t want the ones who want to help because they are self righteous and are trying to get into heaven. I don’t want the ones who have never had to struggle hard.
I don’t want to do this for recognition. I get that enough because of school. I want to do this because it is time to pay it forward. No one should have to feel helpless or hopeless, EVER!
One more thing before I close this letter turned novel…
Please make sure my mom and sister have a Merry Christmas. Please bring them something to raise their spirits. I don’t want them to go without anything either.
Thank you for taking the time to read this really long letter.
Forever believing in the spirit of Christmas,