Christmas Blessings

You might wonder why this post is on the travel week but . . .this year I have felt blessed beyond measure on my own life’s journey. It has been a year full of ups and downs. I have cried many tears but I have smiled to the depth of my soul. In this year of so many changes and growth beyond compare; I decided that I needed to share my gratitude for those blessings with those that might not be able to see the goodness still in the world. I resolved this year to relieve some of the suffering that I have seen in those around me by creating homeless kits. I know that my effort was the tiniest drop in the bucket but . . .the love that I have felt while working on the project and the culmination of that love while delivering the kits this week will probably never be matched.

I found a location in downtown Portland that could use the kits and set to creating them with a few of my friends and family. We were blessed along the way with others that wanted to help and had donations given to us of items we were seeking. In all we had 52 kits created. I will never know the reason why some of these people who received a kit are in the situation that they are in but I hope, in some small way, the kit reminded them that they are loved.

Our kits were filled with toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, gum, protein bar, hard candy,  crackers, nuts, water, small pkg of wipes, Kleenex, Chapstick, soap, band-aids, socks, Advil, hand warmers, and poncho or emergency blanket.

As we were delivering we heard people exclaim how excited they were for the socks and the gum. I know it was Christmas early for some of these people and I feel so grateful to have been apart of that Christmas exchange.

One thing I have learned over the years . . .you will never know the impact you have on the life of another. My heart is forever changed and buoyed up with love from this.

As a thank you to those that came with us last night–there was a small little celebration at Ruby Jewel afterwards. Enjoy the few pictures from our small event.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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My Friends Abroad

November & December 513
My post today has everything to do with my friends and my family. Do you know how awesome you all are and everyone else that I know in my life? If you don’t, let me tell you . . .
YOU ARE FABULOUSLY AWESOME!!!!!
So now that you have had your cheer-leading session of the day I will tell you what I think is important. You might want to right this down because it could be earth-shattering.
What is important is each and every one of you and how important you are to me in my life. So I have decided to showcase 5 of my friends that live in different countries and where I am going to take all of my US friends to visit (of course when I am rich and famous).
1. Rebecca T was my first college roommate and she is from Japan. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to visit Japan. It is beautiful!
2. Victoria B.K. was a mission companion of mine and probably the only person on the planet that I would dress up as a Spice Girl for. She is from Darlington, UK
3. Marcelo L. is also from my mission and one of my best guy friends. He is from Belo Horizonte, Brazil
4. Nicklas L. is a new friend of mine from Goteborg, Sweden who is an amazing photographer and has the cutest little family ever!
5. Francoise K. actually lives in my neighborhood but she is helping me right now find a job in Europe since she herself is from France.