Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss

All of us have experienced hardships at some point in our lives during the holiday season. Whether it is due to monetary reasons, sickness, or being separated from our loved ones, the holidays can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people. Luckily, there are a lot of charities out there that really try to make sure that those in need have a great Christmas. This year, at Camden, we volunteered at the Salvation Army and for other charities in our offices across the country.

Seven years ago, my family found ourselves struggling to have a happy Christmas. My infant son had been in the hospital for almost three months in the ICU fighting for his life. We were faced with celebrating our first Christmas with him in the hospital. Because of our son having to have been in the hospital for so long, we were having a hard time providing Christmas for our family. Luckily for us, Toys for Tots exists.

The US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots’ mission is to provide new, unwrapped toys, which they collect starting as early as October, to children who are less fortunate the communities that they serve as well as children in hospitals. Their goal is to give these children a message of hope that will assist them in becoming productive citizens. In addition to the toy drive, Toys for Tots sponsors other fundraising events throughout the year such as golf tournaments and races in order to raise funds. There are collection bins a various businesses, as well, to collect the toys.

Because of Toys for Tots and their generous sponsors we had a wonderful Christmas that year. We were also able to obtain toys for our two year old son, as well. It made a hard time just a little bit easier and put smiles on our children’s faces.268216_518579308165656_433062176_n

In the spirit of the season, please reach out to others. Even small things count. Say kind words to a stranger. Push the door open button on the elevator for that annoying co-worker who is trying to get into the elevator.  Help that cranky elderly neighbor with her groceries. You never know whose life you might touch.

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