"The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days." -- Sue Monk Kidd
This holiday time of year can get expensive. There always seems to be one more gift that I really want to give, especially with my kids and the friends I'm closest to. I know that no one needs more stuff, but it's how I say 'thanks' or 'good work' or 'you're
And yet, I realize how many gifts I've received recently that shared the same messages without the accumulation.
- A candy cane reindeer one day and a bar of chocolate with a sparkly card another day waiting for me on my desk.
- All the times a tutor comes up to me with any story that starts out, "I have to tell you about the neatest thing that just happened with my student!"
- Time spent catching up with a colleague.
- A patient, non-judgmental ear and the feeling of being heard.
- An email thanking us for our work (wait ... isn't that backwards?!?) that we send around and share with each other and that makes us all feel warm.
- A new coach coming back from a coaching session saying, "That was so FUN!"
- A new-to-me book from our Literacy Connects book exchange that is now high up on my "to read" pile because I know it was my colleague's favorite that she shared.
We give and receive these gifts all year. Sometimes I'm fortunate enough to recognize them in the moment. Other times, people have to remind me to notice. We give and receive these gifts from each other ... volunteers and staff, kids and coaches, tutors and adult learners, donors and board members.
I was reminded of these powerful gifts again as I watched our volunteers and staff come together to support a friend and fellow tutor. We knew there was no way to fill his loss, but we had to find some way to say 'thanks' and 'good work' and 'you're special.' Being part of this outpouring of love and generosity was a gift for me, too. His response came in today.
The greatest gift for me this holiday season is the love, support and generosity given by our Literacy family over the loss of my wife. Thank you. Steve Windsor
Thank you for the gifts you give to all of us in being part of this great work.
Basic Literacy Program Director