Frozen turkeys to be cooked and carved!
Frozen turkeys to be cooked and carved!

Many years ago we started a project, where on Christmas Day, we would feed the under privileged.  The first year we fed approximately 300 people.  The last year (2008) that we ran the project, we fed 1500 people on Christmas Day.  We had three feeding points in different squatter camps and we also handed out little gifts of face cloths, soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes at a TB Clinic.

My late father, who suffered from Alzheimers, came to live with us in 2009, and since then I have not had the time, energy or finances to continue running the project.  The community has however started running a similar project, and they now fundraise themselves.  For many years I cooked up to 50 turkeys, made salad and cooked rice…  (I cannot handle the smell of turkey and my husband becomes nauseous when he has to carve turkey…)  I suppose we are all turkeyed out….

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One of the feeding points. The children are so patient and well-behaved!
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There is no greater joy than giving
Vic and her friend Lee and a community member sharing a happy moment!

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” ― Amy Wilson-Carmichael

We also visited the TB Clinic and gave the children in the Pediatric Section gifts.  Young Elizabeth, an 11 year old girl, died two weeks later.  She never let go of her Christmas Teddy Bear…

Elizabeth and her Christmas Teddybear
Elizabeth and her Christmas Teddybear

“Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.”
― Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Shadow of the Wind

A rare treat - a piece of cake for a TB patient on Christmas Day
A rare treat – a piece of cake for a TB patient on Christmas Day

“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

When my dad came to live with us I had to stop many of my community projects.  It broke my heart but I knew that it was my “family’s time”  In the words of Mother THeresa – “Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”

2012 will be a Christmas of making time for my family.

A couple of days ago Vic wistfully said “This is my last Christmas Mommy”  I hope she is well enough to have a Christmas that her boys will treasure and remember for the rest of their lives.  This may well be our last Christmas.

Christmas Eve 2009 - (L to R) Lee, Vic, My Dad and I
Christmas Eve 2009 – (L to R) Lee, Vic, My Dad and I

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa