Thursday, November 12

"Thank You" Doesn't Quite Do It Justice

Can we talk about Christmas Crazy for Kids for a minute? Please?


After watching donation after donation roll in and after reading amazing email after amazing tweet after amazing email, I'm beginning to wonder a little something. If I ask y'all for some help curing the common cold, are you going to manage to cure cancer? I set a goal, y'all smash it, again and again and again. Words can't even express my gratitude.

All I have is "thank you." So, thank you.

We (and I do mean "WE"--none of this happens without each of you) are currently sitting at just over $2100. Already Alle Kiski HOPE Center is looking to have a better Christmas than they expected as $750 worth of gift cards are headed their way tomorrow. And, yes, I said gift cards. You see, they are a short-term domestic violence shelter, meaning their residents are limited to a 30 day stay. They do get help from various groups to provide Christmas magic, but it requires that they provide the information about residents now. The people who are in the shelter now will not be the ones there next month. Y'all saved them from their usual annual scramble to try to pull something together for kids who they may not even know about yet. Gift cards will allow them to shop for specific items for those kids, and may give some parents a chance to select gifts for their kids at a time when they are mostly focused on survival.

You did good.

Additionally, because the original goal was smashed in such magnificent fashion, I did a little digging around regarding another domestic violence shelter in Pittsburgh. The Women's Center and Shelter of Great Pittsburgh is another agency that does amazing work, and we're going to be adopting two families for Christmas this year.

The holidays are often a time of year when domestic violence agencies provide the most support, so your help is about as perfectly timed as it gets.

(Slightly off topic--I know so much about what these agencies do because I used to work for a company that sold software to them. I spent mucho time in shelters nation-wide providing support and training, so I've seen firsthand how needed their services are. If you are outside of Pittsburgh and interested in starting a little Christmas Crazy fund for your local shelter, send me an email. I am more than happy to help however I can.)

That brings us to the rest of the money. HOLY SMOKES! TOYS! LOTS OF TOYS! I'm going to be delivering a mega-truckload of toys to Toys for Tots on November 30th. I can't wait. More information about that bit of fun (including lots of pics) is headed your way in the days to come.

So. I was going to close up the PayPal account tomorrow and declare a job well done. However, a few people have emailed and asked to be able to help beyond tomorrow. I think there is enough time to make it all work, so I'm extending it by a week. If you've got a buck or two sitting around, you've got until November 20th to toss it in the Christmas Crazy pot. Can we make it to $3000? I think we can.

I'm not above making you all weepy again, so compliance is probably your best option. Just sayin'.


  1. Anonymous7:03 AM


    Even shenenagins over at The Bump could not have brought this! So great!

  2. A women's shelter is a genius choice. Thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. And now I'm in tears.

  3. You done good kid. I'm proud of you and proud of everyone else.

  4. I'm weepy anyway, because this is AWESOME. This isn't the first time this awesome group of people have come together to make a difference. I love us!

    PS. I'll be bringing toys tomorrow.

  5. Anonymous8:17 AM

    I didn't realize you chose Alle-Kiski Hope Center.
    1000 extra thank you's from this AK Valley girl.

  6. @chasingalittlelion--Smaller agencies like HOPE Center feel the pain of state budget debacles more acutely than the larger agencies, so that was an easy choice.

  7. You Rule. Your readers rule too!

  8. Anonymous9:12 AM

    I love that you chose small local entities to donate to. I wish you would re-consider toys for tots and continue with your initial trend. Toys for Tots is supported by soo mnay major coroporations and I believe the small local, groups could really use the help. I know what opinions are like.... but like you, my mom also never received Christmas gifts so I did a toy drive once, I was very very sad when I dropped off the toys at toys for tots. It does not give you the warm fuzzies, anyway. Just another bum hole, I know.

  9. @Anonymous--I absolutely, positively agree that smaller groups need the support in a big way. That said, I've received a number of emails from readers who have received toys via Toys for Tots themselves, or who relied on them to provide Christmas for their own kids in recent years. The key is that Toys for Tots ends up backfilling needs when other methods fall short. But, if you have any suggestions for small local entities, let me know. I started reaching out to a few people yesterday looking for some because $500 can go a long way for a smaller program and I know Mikey and Big Bob are going to slay the Stuff-a-Bus program.

  10. So awesome! Thanks for doing this!

  11. Thank you for all the work you have put into this awesome effort! You are one of the people that makes Christmas beautiful for people less fortunate. When I was little my Mom and dad made it a point to adopt a family every year, and I will never forget seeing the women cry while their children were at school and we were able to bring christmas to them. Foods, and Gifts and decorations. You don't realize how important they are until you don't have them.

  12. You all rock! Having worked in a shelter, I can't begin to tell you what a blessing gift cards are. It often allows the moms to pick out gifts specifically for their kids - which allows the mom to feel less like it is charity and more like she is giving something to her child. It is such a wonderful thing that a mom can give her child a the exact thing he/she asked for when she feels like she has taken everything away from her children by taking them away from home at the holidays. Kudos!

  13. Okay. It is not taking my debit card and I don't know why. I'm gonna try again later.

  14. This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday -

  15. Your Christmas toy story was too touching to ignore. Pittsburgh is lucky to have you there, doing such good work.

    (And, of course, entertaining us where ever we may be.)

  16. I was so happy to participate! It's awesome how much you've received!! WHOOT!