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Old 11-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
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Holiday Gift Idea

I've got a pretty decent sized family. Every year we exchange gift cards with each other because a long time ago we ran out of useless stuff to give each other. It would turn out to pretty much be a wash.

Unfortunately, last year in our family, we encountered adversity when we found out that my then 2 year old niece had gotten Leukemia. Now, fortunately, she contracted the most curable form and this past year they rendered her cancer free thanks to the awesome staff at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She still has to go there on a regular basis and endure a lot of painful procedures, but when they last tested her bone marrow it was all good.

So this year for the holidays, one of my sisters came up with the idea that in lieu of exchanging gifts, we would donate our gift money to the Cancer Center instead. I thought this was a great idea. We've got every dumb little thing we could want. Why add to the pile? Why not actually make this holiday meaningful for a change instead of the same old same old and give back to the place that gave us the most important gift there is: Life.

So maybe if any of you have a loved one who is sick in some way, instead of giving others items they don't exactly "need", you can take that gift money and donate it to the hospital that is helping your loved one get better.

Thanks to the people at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, my niece ( who is now 3 years old) is going to live to see 4 and beyond. Yeah, she lost her hair and she had to endure endless hours of excruciating pain thanks to a number of different procedures performed on her, but her hair is growing back and she's back to running laps around her house. I call her my little bulldozer because she doesn't let anything stand in her way. She was fortunate because there are plenty of kids who are sicker than her and not as lucky.

So, that's my holiday gift idea. Instead of exchanging gifts and having it all be a wash. Pool your resources and donate to a hospital or medical facility that is helping a loved one in your family get better.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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Great idea! Glad your niece's battle has been successful.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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Great idea! Glad your niece's battle has been successful.
Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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My sister encouraged our family to make donations rather than exchange gifts a few years ago and it's what we now do. It feels good to do that rather than contribute to the retail frenzy this holiday time of year becomes. We also volunteer and in past have exchanged only home-made gifts. That's also a fun one!

Great to hear your niece is doing much better
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
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Wonderful idea!! Glad to hear your niece is doing better... We do donate to the usual things Salvation Army kettles and Toys for Tots each year, but that would be a great idea to donate to something like that. Thanks for the idea...
Would be making the donation in honor of my aunt and what a wonderful gift that would be
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Wonderful idea!! Glad to hear your niece is doing better... We do donate to the usual things Salvation Army kettles and Toys for Tots each year, but that would be a great idea to donate to something like that. Thanks for the idea...
Would be making the donation in honor of my aunt and what a wonderful gift that would be
Glad to hear it!

Let's all keep spreading the word!
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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My kids celebrate (They are 8 and 10) their bdays on December, they are only a few weeks apart. Two years ago, we asked them if they wanted to do a party for both of them where the presents could be donated to Toys For Tots. To our delight, they completely accepted this and when we invited all the friends and explained the plan to donate the gifts....the whole neighborhood cooperated and when we called the local Fire department, they showed up with the fire engine to pick up the presents, all the kids went crazy when the siren sounded as they approached our home.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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^That's a great story Carlos, and what a really good message and lesson for the kids involved.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:59 PM   #9
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So this year for the holidays, one of my sisters came up with the idea that in lieu of exchanging gifts, we would donate our gift money to the Cancer Center instead. I thought this was a great idea. We've got every dumb little thing we could want. Why add to the pile? Why not actually make this holiday meaningful for a change instead of the same old same old and give back to the place that gave us the most important gift there is: Life.

So maybe if any of you have a loved one who is sick in some way, instead of giving others items they don't exactly "need", you can take that gift money and donate it to the hospital that is helping your loved one get better.

Thanks to the people at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, my niece ( who is now 3 years old) is going to live to see 4 and beyond. Yeah, she lost her hair and she had to endure endless hours of excruciating pain thanks to a number of different procedures performed on her, but her hair is growing back and she's back to running laps around her house. I call her my little bulldozer because she doesn't let anything stand in her way. She was fortunate because there are plenty of kids who are sicker than her and not as lucky.

So, that's my holiday gift idea. Instead of exchanging gifts and having it all be a wash. Pool your resources and donate to a hospital or medical facility that is helping a loved one in your family get better.

Fantastic idea! Awesome for you to share this. Very happy to hear your niece is doing better. Cancer for anyone is tragic but somehow seeing a little one go through it is absolutely unbearable and heartbreaking. My family went through it with my nephew, diagnosed w/Leukemia at age 3, excruciating treatments then cancer-free for 4 yrs. It came back at age 8, went through excruciating treatments again and a bone marrow transplant. Thanks to love, prayers, miracles and the City of Hope he is now a healthy 15 yr old teenager.

I believe in giving back whether it be monetary, time, or even blood or platelet donations (also a "gift" idea). I am a regular blood and platelet donor now after going through this, just another idea in giving.

Thanks again. Enjoy your holidays.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:28 PM   #10
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Mr.P and Nic. Wow. What heartbreaking, but hopeful stories. Thank you both for sharing. Hugs and Hi-Fives to both of you.


Stories like these really illuminate the truth of what this holiday season should be about.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
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What a nice post

I'm glad your niece is doing better and I wish her all the best in the future
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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Mr.P and Nic. Wow. What heartbreaking, but hopeful stories. Thank you both for sharing. Hugs and Hi-Fives to both of you.


Stories like these really illuminate the truth of what this holiday season should be about.
Thanks! When my sister mentioned it, I was wondering why it didn't come to mind sooner. My niece was diagnosed the first week of December 2008, so last year's holiday season definitely got thrown out of whack with my family reeling from the situation. So with this season approaching, we figured we'd abandon the usual holiday gift exchange. This is my brother's youngest daughter Gabrielle who is going through this. My brother's other daughter is 5 and she has been awesome through this too. She treats Gabrielle like she would any other little sister. She busts her chops when needed, but she's also aware that she's sick. My sister-in-law and her mother have been unbelievable as well. My father donates platelets regularly. We've all done what we can as a family. My brother is an architect and he runs his own firm, so he's forced to devote as much time to his work to generate income for the family. Many people have donated money and goods to my brother's family. So many people have been generous. I've never been to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that Gabrielle goes to. I know I couldn't handle it. The Yankees visit there a lot and the YES Network always has a segment about the center. Hell, I get all choked up when they show these segments, so I'd be a mess going there. Anyway, Gabrielle is through the worst so far, but the next 4-5 years, they'll keep a close eye on her leukemia.

Thanks to all who have posted so far.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:42 PM   #13
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My godmother asked if we could donate money to a charity we choose as a Christmas gift this year.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:46 PM   #14
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So glad to hear your niece is doing better, MrPryck! It's a fantastic idea.

Our family has done gifts like this in the past, especially after disasters like Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the tsunami, etc. We would give to charities and organizations like the Red Cross, who were helping those who really needed it. Definitely more meaningful and memorable than some random gift.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MrPryck2U View Post
I've got a pretty decent sized family. Every year we exchange gift cards with each other because a long time ago we ran out of useless stuff to give each other. It would turn out to pretty much be a wash.

Unfortunately, last year in our family, we encountered adversity when we found out that my then 2 year old niece had gotten Leukemia. Now, fortunately, she contracted the most curable form and this past year they rendered her cancer free thanks to the awesome staff at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She still has to go there on a regular basis and endure a lot of painful procedures, but when they last tested her bone marrow it was all good.

So this year for the holidays, one of my sisters came up with the idea that in lieu of exchanging gifts, we would donate our gift money to the Cancer Center instead. I thought this was a great idea. We've got every dumb little thing we could want. Why add to the pile? Why not actually make this holiday meaningful for a change instead of the same old same old and give back to the place that gave us the most important gift there is: Life.

So maybe if any of you have a loved one who is sick in some way, instead of giving others items they don't exactly "need", you can take that gift money and donate it to the hospital that is helping your loved one get better.

Thanks to the people at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, my niece ( who is now 3 years old) is going to live to see 4 and beyond. Yeah, she lost her hair and she had to endure endless hours of excruciating pain thanks to a number of different procedures performed on her, but her hair is growing back and she's back to running laps around her house. I call her my little bulldozer because she doesn't let anything stand in her way. She was fortunate because there are plenty of kids who are sicker than her and not as lucky.

So, that's my holiday gift idea. Instead of exchanging gifts and having it all be a wash. Pool your resources and donate to a hospital or medical facility that is helping a loved one in your family get better.
I think this is a beautiful idea and God bless you. Your kindness will go a long way. I am so happy to hear that your precious niece is beating cancer and will live a long life. She is an inspiration and angel, to us all.

One year, instead of gifts. My son asked his dad and I. If he could have money for Christmas. We said "of course." Well, he took every penny he was given from us and the rest of the family, and donated it to a children's charity. He was only seventeen at the time. We were so proud of him.

We also, as a family. Take a name from our Angel Tree at church. And instead of buying each other another gift, we don't need. We buy gifts for a child who is basically in the foster care system/orphanage of our state. These children don't asked to be neglected or in too many cases, abused. Both physically and sexually. Our hearts go out to these children and it is a way of letting them know. That there are people who care.
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