2012 Armful of Love Thank You Notes
Family #215: My family wants to thank you for remembering us this holiday. We all very much enjoyed and appreciated the wonderful gifts we got. We enjoyed shopping the sales and picking out the items we needed and wanted the most. The boys are saving their Dick’s gift cards until a really good shoe sale starts. My husband has been unemployed again for the past few months, but last Thursday started a new job in his field of work that will include insurance in a couple of months. We are all looking forward to a bright 2013. Thank you again for your kindness and all you have done for my family. Best wishes for 2013 to you and your family.
Family # 230: Thank you so much for the gift cards for food and gas. They both came when we really needed them. My daughter loves the books and has read them already. My husband was surprised and happy with the blue jeans. Both girls loved the gift cards. They could pick up their own clothes. I loved the towels and the toilet paper and shampoo. Thanks to you all, we had a very nice Christmas.
Family # 280: When my daughter gave me the gift cards from you, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you ever so much and God bless you.
Family #415: Thank you so much for the amazing gifts you got for me and my daughter! She was so happy on Christmas morning. You are amazing and I wish you and yours the very best! God bless you!
Family #430: Thank you again for your help. Jack loved his gifts! And thank you for the gift cards. It helped me buy groceries and needed items. And I am truly grateful! It helped us to have a special Christmas in time of need. Thank you and God bless you. Peace, love, & joy!
Lutheran Social Services
Family #520: Thank you so much for all of your help. It is greatly appreciated. God bless.
Family #530: I just wanted to take the time out and say thank you for taking the time to help me with these wonderful gifts. They really mean a lot to me. I just want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you once again.
Family #2095: Thank you for all the gifts for my sons. It means more than anything in the world to have people like you. Being a single father of 2 boys is not easy, but my heart is filled with joy so my sons could enjoy Christmas. What would the world be like if it was not for you people. From the deepest part of my heart, thank you. Words can’t even say what it means to my family. Thank you!
Armful of Love Surprise Gift
On December 3, I stopped at church to pick up the Armful of Love gifts and take them to 360 Communities. As I walked in the front door, a gentleman was leaving so I said hello and held the door for him. When I went in the office, Char told me that he was looking for me. She went to the window and knocked on it to get his attention. When he came into the office, he asked me if I knew who he was. He looked familiar, but I didn’t remember his name. He said he was Howard Hall. He was the principal at Burnsville High School when I taught there in 1987. He handed me an envelope, which had a very generous gift for Armful of Love. He had seen the article in the Sun Current/This Week newspaper about St. James’ Armful of Love program and wanted to give us a donation. (See the St. James’ website to read the article.)
The day before, one of our members had asked me how we could help a friend of hers who was a homeless vet. Since our program had already ended, I suggested that she ask Doreen if she could put an announcement in the bulletin asking for gently used household items. When Howard left, Doreen and I immediately thought about helping this woman so she checked with Pastor Walt. We all agreed that this would be a wonderful to do.
I called the member who had talked to me and we decided that we would buy her gift cards with the money that was donated. I found out where she wanted to shop and purchased the gift cards for her. She met me at church that week and was so appreciative and thankful for the unexpected Christmas gift.
Here is the thank you letter she wrote to Howard: “I want to thank you for your kind generosity when you stopped by St. James Lutheran Church in Burnsville to make a donation. I was so taken back when I was notified that your entire donation would be given to me. I was speechless and then cried. The night before I was notified, I was completely exhausted and life was beginning to feel hopeless and overwhelming. I got on my knees next to my bed and prayed to the Good Lord for help.
I had just moved into an apartment after losing my apartment over a year ago due to my financial situation and had been living with family and friends. Overwhelmed by the emptiness of the apartment, I began to realize how much more work and money it would take to make that place feel like a home. Food in the cupboards would be a good start. Because of your generosity, I was able to buy some food and get some things into my apartment to make it feel more like a home and for that, I am so very grateful! Grateful that there are people among us with kind and generous hearts willing to help complete strangers! It's been eight years since I served in Iraq and never imagined how challenging life would be after coming home or how long it would take to try and make life "normal" again. So, thank you again for what you did in helping a complete stranger! Have a Merry Christmas and may 2013 also be filled with His blessings!”