Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Thank You Post

The Give It Up gift card exchange extravaganza has been over for about a week. This meant that we all woke up last Thursday and were collectively like, "Oooooh CRAP. Christmas is in like TEN DAYS. And we have done nothing to get ready. Crappity crap crap." Except we didn't use the word "crap".

It also meant that a few days ago people who asked for help started to get their gift cards in the mail. And some of them have written Thank Yous to our Inbox. We have shared some on our Facebook page and others we've just passed back and forth between the three of us. We have read every single one and each time our hearts have swelled to ten times their normal size. And Lydia ugly cries.

So here, for your enjoyment, are some of the Thank Yous that you guys earned. We'll be posting more as the week goes on. Please know that each time we read one of these we just think of you, our readers, our community of generous, thoughtful, gorgeous people, and we remember how much good there really is in this world.

If you received something in the mail and you want to thank your helper, add a comment on this post. We understand that many of you are unwilling to say thanks in public on Facebook. But read on, and know any show of gratitude means the world.

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Hello Ladies,
So i get up this morning not feeling good at all.. My daughter goes out to the mail box and comes in with hospital bills and other mail, she looks at me and asked " momma who in the world is Jessica from Nashville TN. I said who? I dont know anyone from TN.. I opened the letter to find a beautiful christmas card with the most beautiful gre
etings ever with a little note that said " Merry Christmas! And I hope this helps,  Jessica " with a gift card from Target for $200.00. All I could do was drop to my knees and cry and thank her and God for this blessing so that my 2 girls would have a christmas.. we don't even have a tree And with this my children will be able to have Christmas ... Thank you ladies for all you have done and all that you do to help bring Joy to the world... and to Jessica in Nashville TN, you have no idea what this means to me and my girls, you are truly and Angel and thank you from the bottom for my heart!


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Hello Ladies!
So last night I get home from a crappy day at work at 11:30. I walk in and put my stuff on the kitchen counter and see the dishes piled in the sink, the dirty pots still sitting on the stove and apparently someone spilled juice because all of a sudden my feet were stuck to the floor. After a little bit of cursing and getting my feet unstuck, I see the mail on the co
unter. On top of the pile was an envelope with a return address of Virginia and I'm all like, who do I know in Virginia?? I open it up, and there is a photo card, a little note, and a gift card to Wal-Mart for $100 freakin dollars. I dropped to my knees and started to cry...my kids are going to have a Christmas after all! Never, ever, ever, did I expect someone that doesn't know me to send a gift of $100 to help out my children. EVER. The family that sent this amazing gift to me are just....well, there really are no words to describe how wonderful and generous and giving they are.


To Jessica, Russell, and your 3 beautiful boys, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget your kindness, generosity, and beautiful faces smiling at me. You hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for giving my children a Christmas they deserve. And a huge thank you to the awesome ladies who started this project. You will never know how much you are all appreciated and what an impact that you have all made on us. The impact that Hurricane Sandy had on us has now been trumped by the impact of total strangers.

Thank you...

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I can't begin to thank you - and the Taylor Family from MS - enough. This month has proven to be the roughest month of a really bad year, but that cheery red envelope in my mailbox on Saturday was a ray of sunshine. I'm a newly-single mom, a full time employee, and a full time student, and this year I was facing a Christmas with nothing under the tree for my little boys, who are 3 and 2. With the kind gift from the Taylor's, my boys will be unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. It's so nice to cry happy tears for once!!

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Kate & Lydia-

Thank you. There are no other words that I can say to you. With the recent events in the world, restoring faith in humanity is vital, and your exchange has done just that for me. I received a couple of cards from TX & IA and the gift cards enclosed enabled me to get a few gifts for my family, diapers for my son and also some towels for the family that my workplace adopted for the holidays; I felt so blessed by Lindsay & Kary that I felt compelled to pay *something* forward.

With 2013, my family just may be able to get our heads far enough above water that we will be able to participate as givers instead of recipients but in either case, you can bet that I will restore someone's faith in humanity with this exchange in particular in mind.

With Hope for 2013, thank you again!! 

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I just wanted to tell you of my gift card exchange....everyday that has gone by since I sent my pleading email for help this year I had become more and more worried of how to explain to my boys why Santa didn't come this year. Then I checked my mail and found bills and more bills and a card. I ran back into my house ripped in to the card and found a target gift card. I haven't cried this hard since the days my boys were born. This is the biggest relief of my life, my children, my world, they will not be broken hearted on Christmas morning. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to this stranger who has saved my babies from heartbreak. Thank you Jodie from Beavercreek, OH.

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I just wanted to say thank you so much to Kate, Lydia, Guru Louise, and Courtney Schoenborn (the AMAZING mommy you matched me with) for making my kids Christmas AWESOME!! I just received my gift card from Courtney and it was such a blessing. My IHP's will have something under the tree this year and I can honestly tell them it's from Santa Claus!!! I wasn't sure how I was going to do Christmas this year, so I sucked up my pride and sent an E-mail asking for help and then everything went haywire for you guys. I'm sitting at work writing this and ugly crying out of gratitude for the wonderful women who try their best to make sure that as many kids as possible have something for Christmas. You guys ROCK and my DH and I are so grateful to everyone that helped us. Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.You make the world a better place by being a part of it and being so generous with your time and energy. Also, say thank you to your husbands, children, and pets for allowing you to be awesome mommies to the rest of us as well as them!!!

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I'm not sure there are enough words of gratitude on the English language to tell you all how much I appreciate you, but know that you guys, along with Meredith in Florida, have made all the difference in the world to me. I'm not ashamed of the fact that my family is poor in money because we are extremely blessed in so many other ways. But it is really easy to start doubting oneself as a mom when you know your kid is missing out on one of the biggest traditions in America. There was just no way we were going to be able to get anything for our 3 year old daughter until you stepped in and helped. Not only were we able to get her a gift with the gift cards Meredith sent, but we were able to help another family give their kids an awesome Christmas too. I had come home from work on Friday and stopped to check in on a friend who lives across the street with her 2 little boys. She was commenting on how stressful this time of year is, and how she was having to wrap up some of her kid's old toys so they would have something, anything, to open on Christmas. I left, checked my mail on the way in, and proceeded to bawl my eyes out at my front door. I got 2 gift cards from this amazing exchange, used one to buy my gift, and took the other to my friend so she could have that same feeling of gratitude and amazement at the kindness of others. Thank you so much for taking the time to set this up and see it through, even with all bumps in the road. Thank you to all your families who helped you and understood the countless hours you spent making this Christmas great. You ladies are wonderful, and you have my sincerest thanks, as well as those of another mom.


Happy Christmas!

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I just wanted to say a very big thank you for putting your hearts and souls (and tears and love) in to the hooker project. I received a card from someone today and it has made it possible for my two boys to have Christmas stockings this year. This is the first year that the 3 of us will be completely on our own for the holidays and we are going to have a blast! I will spare you all the drama that surrounds us right now - who wants to dwell on that anyways?? You guys are awesome and we love you!! 
Thank you!!!!!

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Hi ladies I wanted to thank you personally for hooking me up with an amazing mama. The $100 TRU gift card was more than I ever imagined. I'm able to give my kids a great Christmas and my 3 yo even asked to pick a special toy for the local toy drive! Kyla, I lost your addy but you're an amazing woman. (Please share anonymously, I'm sure Kyla knows who I am :))

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THANK YOU! I was sitting here today in tears, my daughter's birthday is next week and Christmas six days later. I was trying to figure out how to squeeze out one gift on her list and how to afford baking a cake. In the mail today I received a gift card from Karen, Kenna and Sean. I will now be able to get my little girl both Birthday and Christmas gifts. Thank you for arranging this miracle for me and I hope to pay it forward next year!

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Dearest All.
I cannot believe it. I emailed you guys about Give It Up Mommyland, not thinking you'd be able to do anything for a mummy all the way in Britain. In today's post, a giftcard arrived from the amazing Angelika. Thanks to her, and all of you, this mummy is going to be able to get some presents for her adorable son. I cannot even begin to put into words how grateful I am. Just after that, I heard that my hubby is willing to enter counselling for his alcohol issues - the best present in the world I could have got for me! I'm beginning to feel like 2013 might just be better than 2012. I really can't say thank you enough. You guys are amazing. My Christmas prayer is that I'll be able to be on the other side of things next year! xxx

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Hi Ladies,

I know you are having lots of e-mail issues with this account, so I hope you get this message.  I just want to let you know that you totally made me ugly cry the other day.

First, some background ... On Wednesday, I had just returned home from an exhausting and frustrating shopping trip to the mall with my wonderful--but very active--two year old son.  And by very active, I mean he never stops moving ever.  In this particular case, he kept sprinting out of the store where I was attempting to shop for my daughters, forcing me to abandon everything I was carrying and race after him multiple times.  Oh, and at one point, I thought my purse had been stolen.  Fortunately, we found it safe and sound, but it was a scary couple of minutes in between.  And to add to the stress, my oldest daughter turned seven yesterday (yay!), but I still had to decorate her cake, bake treats for her to take to school, and wrap her presents.  All in all, these are totally first world problems, but that didn't help my stress level right then and there.

So anyway, I get home from my shopping trip of the damned feeling completely defeated.  I go to check Facebook and right there is a Rants for Mommyland status with my name in it--literally.  You had posted a note you received from the mom I helped, and she mentioned me by name.  Now, I didn't sign up for this project to get personal name recognition.  I wanted to help a mom make sure that she could put something under the tree for her kids this Christmas.  But I was just so happy to see that she had received my card and that it really helped her out.  

As you mentioned when you started this crazy project, this is an exercise in trust.  Although we're all pretty sure when we sign up to help that our money is going to someone who really needs it, you're never 100 percent sure.  It was just so great to know how much those gift cards meant to her. I am so happy (and crying right now) that she was able to get her kids what they wanted, and warm jammies, and a treat for herself (thank you Starbucks).  My family is hardly rich, but we are pretty comfortable, and I know that there are so many families out there who can barely buy enough to eat, let alone even think about gifts for Christmas.  

So your FB post just made my day.  The stress of everything that morning and thinking about my daughter's birthday melted away.  For the rest of the day, I was on cloud nine thinking about that note.  Thanks so much for helping to make my week a little brighter.  You ladies are so awesome, and I love you a ton.

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Dear Mommyland,
Today was, well, a bad day. I had to take my husband to the hospital to be admitted for treatment. He will have to be there for a few days and he's scared. I am too. When I left, I was crying and feeling pretty horrible. I got home and checked the mail from yesterday, expecting the usual bills and junk. There was a red envelope hand addressed to me. It was from a family in Wisconsin and I literally sat in the car looking back and forth between the return address and the to address like ten times, making sure it was really for me and trying to figure out who I knew in Wisconsin. Finally I gave up and opened it and found a beautiful holiday card and a Target gift card. I was surprised, because I wasn't sure anything would come. I looked in the mailbox one more time and in the very back was ANOTHER red envelope hand addressed to me, this time from someone in South Dakota. You'd think the second time I would be less surprised, but I was actually shocked to find another beautiful card and another Target gift card! I didn't expect one, much less two! This is perfect timing. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, they finally get a little better. I'm literally crying right now, and for once its good tears. I can't wait to talk to my husband and tell him there's one less thing we have to worry about. Our kids are going to have a wonderful Christmas, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

If women ran the world, it would be a MUCH better place. Thank you so much Lydia and Kate, for creating this amazing program, thank you family in Wisconsin and family in South Dakota, for being our holiday angels, and thank you Mommyland for your honesty, acceptance, and like-minded humor. I hope I will be on the other end of this exchange in the future.


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

19 comments:

  1. Lydia, and Kate for president 2016. Think of all the awesome things Mommyland could do for this country. You guys (and Guru L) make such a huge difference to so many all year just in keeping our spirits up and helping us if not stay sane at least know we are not alone, then pull this off for christmas. I hope YOUR christmas is as awesome as you've made so many others. Christmas Blessings to all in Mommyland.

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  2. My children have been sick so I haven't had time to write a proper thank you, so this will have to do, thank you Mommyland ladies for doing this, and thank you SO MUCH Kat from Denver, CO. The gift card you sent has already been spent and even more than the gifts it bought, the thought that someone out there is willing to help out someone she has never met has made this holiday just a little brighter. Thank you!!

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  3. I received my card and it brightened my day. Now my problem is, no gas to get to Target to use it. As soon as my money hits the bank, I intend to go, get my daughter's gifts, and purchase a thank you card to send to my hooker, err, i mean helper, with a picture of my daughter in it so she can see who she helped. This means so much, to be surprised by an address from across the country, and know Santa will still get to my daughter this year. Heather B. from WI and Kate and Lydia, you guys rock!

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  4. Now I'M ugly crying. Merry Christmas everyone!

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  5. Thank you ladies ALL so very much for lifting my heart this morning! Last year, being able to send a card was the very best part of my Christmas. To know that there was someone out there who was having a better day because of the small amount I was able to give really felt great. Unfortunately this year we were only able to purchase presents using a gift from family so things have been a little stressful around here. But reading all of these notes reminds me that it truly isn't ever about me and that so many small acts of kindness can make that world a better place. You don't just touch those who participate, you make Christmas better for all of us by running this program and by giving and by giving thanks.

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  6. We were scraping together money this year trying to get each of our three older kids at least one thing for Christmas (the baby was being completely ignored, poor thing.) Then I went to the mail box and found a wonderful card from Kristin in Murfreesboro, TN. Now each of my kids (including the baby!) is going to get the toy they asked for and a stocking for Christmas. Thank you so much! I'm going to take pictures of them opening their gifts on Christmas morning to include in a thank you card to Kristin.

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  7. Thanks for the smiles this morning. I ♥ Lydia, Guru Louise, and Kate!!! I wish you ladies an incredible holiday season!!!

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  8. Thank you ladies, every single darn one of you! Your generosity of time and gifts give me hope :) I was reading this post and ugly crying this morning over my morning coffee before I had to rouse the troops for school, work, babysitter, etc... My 6 year old woke up and caught me smiling with tears streaming down my face. "Mommy, what's wrong?" she asked...In my head I thought..."so much is wrong right now but some things are so right". Thank you for lifting me up and inspiring me :) I was not able to participate this year (last year I was so happy to be a helping hooker but this year things were much tighter) but due to a nice little Christmas bonus I am able to help out someone in my community - my girls and I are going to buy some games and toys for kids at the local woman's shelter. When my kids asked me why these kids weren't getting gifts from Santa, I told them that we were going to be their Santa this year. Thank you to all the Santa's out there and especially Santa's logistic managers - Lydia, Louise and Kate..you ROCK. Happy Holidays to all of you!

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  9. When I arrived home Saturday night after an extremely long day of work, just ready to crawl in bed, my husband comes in the room and asks, "Who do you know in California?" Instantly my spirits were uplifted. I knew the only person I would know in Cali would be the wonderful mom who was so kind to send my daughter Christmas. I opened the envelope and started tearing up even before opening the card. Such a weight was lifted and I can never tell her thanks enough. Inside was a $50.00 gift card to target for my baby girl that we were able to get her three great gifts with it (one we are giving has a birthday present has well) and a $20.00 gift card to Starbucks for myself which will be a great excuse for a quiet retreat to study for my upcoming CMA test. Thank you so much Alisa in San Leandro, CA. This really means the world to me, and I can't wait to share the smiles on my daughters face when she opens the gifts you will have gotten for her. God Bless You! There are just not enough thanks to express what a blessing you all are. To Kate and Lydia and and all the moms who helped. You all give me hope in humanity, that kindness and selflessness is still in this world. Just crying and praying for all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And Merry Christmas.

    A little about me:
    I don't normally ask for help but after starring at your post for the last few days, I finally decided it wouldn't hurt. I am the mother of a beautiful baby girl who will be turning 2 on Christmas day. A little about our situation: My husband has been out of work since May following a back injury, and I am currently externing (unpaid) to become a medical assistant and working part time in the spare time to be able to pay bills. Unfortunately I only make enough to pay bills.

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  10. Kindness matters - I truly believe that acts of kindness (anonomous or otherwise) deliver blessings to all of us. As mothers, we are well aware of how much better the day goes when the family is kind to one another and to all. I love you all.

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  11. Awesome. I have loved reading all these wonderful stories and to see how much hope and light are being brought to these women that have been dealt some serious stress in their lives and understanding all too well how relieving it is to know, yes, Christmas will happen this year. I've been in that position more than once myself. This year has been incredibly tight but my husband and I pulled off Christmas presents for our daughter. No small feat when you have so little to work with and you are behind on bills. But with all that said, we know we are not alone and it's been so gratifying to see these families in need lifted up by amazing, generous, thoughtful and wonderful people. Thank you Mommyland for providing a place where we can support each other, vent, provide some humor and enjoy the sisterhood that is, being a Mom. Merry Christmas ladies!!

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  12. This project makes such a difference to everyone involved. I saw on Facebook and now here that both mommies that I was able to help received my gift cards and it is so incredibly heartwarming to know that they made it a bit easier for those families. In the face of the crappy, crappy news we've recently received about my father and mother-in-law's battles with cancer (yes both at the same time), this is some much needed positivity to help me through what is going to be a tough holiday season.

    Ladies of RFML, you are truly wonderful and your impact on us is immeasurable.

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    1. Prayers and good wishes for your father and MIL.

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  13. To D&D in Delaware, Leah & Maggie in California, and another woman whose name is in the room with my sleeping 3 year old that I dare not waken after she was up allllll freakin' night - thank you, so much, from the bottom of my heart.

    My husband and I got a phone call two days after Thanksgiving that my mom was suddenly in the hospital and they'd found hotspots on a CT scan. A few days later, stage 4 cancer was confirmed, with a heart-breakingly fast prognosis. We dropped everything, loaded our 3 year old and 6 month old preemie into the car and drove 1600 miles to spend one last Christmas with Mimi. It scares me how fast the money was flying out of our account to take care of gas, meals on the road, trying to provide a little bit of comfort via fast food for my dad and brothers, parking passes at the hospital, on top of a tapped out savings from spending all summer waiting on our boy to be released from the hospital. A few days into our stay up here, my husband called to let me know that his mom (a cancer survivor) is having a suspicious node removed and may be in for another round of treatment. Then our car died.

    This almost sounds like a fake story, and I wish it was, but it's sadly my life right now. But I am so surrounded by love, from my church, from my family, and from RFML and these particular four women who are lifting the burden of Christmas presents for me. I told mom yesterday, after receiving the cards, that she didn't have to worry, I will fill everyone's stockings this year. More accurately, D&D, Leah, Maggie, and my other benefactor will be. You will be buying my kids warm pajamas. You may even be buying a mini trampoline for my daughter who is going stir crazy in the midst of all of this snow that she's so unfamiliar with. :) Thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you and may you feel His comfort and joy as we celebrate the birth of His Son.

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  14. I intended to write this thank you a few days ago, but we spent the weekend moving and I haven't had a chance. I needed help; I was going to have to explain to my kids that Santa wouldn't make it this year. The last week has been more stressful than any other I can remember. Last Tuesday I went to court for an eviction hearing and lost, I spent the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday packing and catching up on laundry. We still weren't 100% packed and ready when moving time came on Saturday morning, but thankfully we finished last night. I took a moving break on Saturday to study for a final exam I had to take on Sunday. (I found out today that I not only passed that class, but I got an A on my test.) On our way home Saturday night, my daughter checked the mail and there it was, the only thing in the box. She asked who it was from and all I could say was I don't know. Thank you, Lindsey in Houston!! Thank you so much for your generosity!! Both of my kids will receive a gift and full stockings this year! I have always believed that Santa existed; now I have proof!!! Lindsey, thank you again, so very, very much!!!!

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  15. I sent my miracle mommyland person a thank you card in the mail where I babbled thanks all over it like a crazy person. I am not crazy!! Except I didn't know what to say! Thank you just didn't seem like enough. Do you know what it means to go to Target with $50 that doesn't come out of the grocery budget, and buy everyone socks and stuff to go in their stockings and a bag of clementines and a sled! (and tampons and peppermint bark for me, let's confess) We are doing the best we can to keep our heads above water but we slip under a lot, and getting a card in the mail from Kathleen in Urbana (hi!) was like someone throwing us a raft. The kind of raft with a drink holder. You have no idea. NO IDEA....except...you DO! Thank you thank you thank you RFMLand (and all the RFMLand husbands and kids) for putting your own Christmasses in the Danger Zone so our Christmasses aren't.

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  16. This is Kyla. I received your thank you letter, dear lady, and you are most welcome. I am truly glad to have helped. And I love that your 3yo picked a toy for the toy drive, too! We donated to a toy drive last year (I blogged about it here http://shelookslikeamom.blogspot.com/2011/12/joy-to-world.html), but with choosing to give the gift card this year, we didn't. So it makes my heart really happy that you did that. Thank you. :-) Merry Christmas, everyone!

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  17. I got two separate gifts today, and can only assume that they are from the helping hookers post... Heather in PA and Catherine in VA, I want to say thank you, thank you so, so very much for helping my family. The gift cards from Target and Walmart are going to be put to great use for my children Christmas and the pizza hut card will be used to have a discussion with my children about how there are good and decent people still in this world willing to extend a helping hand and support even strangers during hard times. Ive never been one to ask for help, but this year, with my kids Christmas on the line, I swallowed my pride and reached out through Lydia and Kate, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what would happen. Thank you ladies, and please know that words really can't express how very much your gifts have touched my life.

    C.K.
    Flint, MI

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