Our Mom, Mary Lou Leyland, was a true angel on earth and Christmas was her favorite time to help those in need. She was referred to as "Santa's Helper" by her collagues at work becasue she always organized the Christmas fundraisers at Wal-Mart. Santa's Helpers-Team Mary Lou is our attempt to carry on her legacy and help others during the holiday season.
On the day of my mother's funeral, a woman, I've never met, approached me and said, "Your mother was my angel on earth and she brought Christmas to my family and made me believe in miracles." To have a complete stranger say something so powerful about the woman I idealized for being my mom, made me understand that she was more than I ever knew. My mom was a woman who believed in the spirit of Christmas and made the holiday season about more than just presents under the tree. Every year she adopted a family in need and made sure they were provided for on Christmas morning. To her, Christmas was about doing something special for those in need and spreading joy to others. Mom made it a family event and passed on the importance of kindness toward others to all of her children and grandchildren. She would take her grandkids shopping to pick out gifts for the kids who were close to their age and they learned to find pride in doing something special for someone in need, especially during the holiday season. The kids took such pride in helping Mommom help others, they even offered to give up their own toys for the families in need.
Ever since that comment, on one of the most difficult days of my life, I have not been able to let go of the thought that I must continue my mom's legacy. There is a sense of tradition that I feel I need to carry on. My family will experience a change in our traditions because my mom will not be here and it is a void that no amount of gifts will ever be able to fill. This is just a new reality that we have to learn to live with. However, there is no reason we cannot carry on her tradition of helping others and making Christmas special for a family in need.
We are hoping to be able to continue my Mom's tradition of bringing Christmas to a family in need by continuing to "adopt" the family of the woman who found the miracle of Christmas through the kindness provided by my Mom. This single parent family of 7 children, ages 5, 6, 6, 7, 14, 16, and 19, are dealing with the mother's multiple health issues and major financial struggles. Together WE can make a difference in the lives of a struggling family, carry on the legacy of a miracle maker who will be forever missed and fill our own hearts with the joy of the holidays found by helping those in need.
Imagine how good it will feel to know that you helped bring joy to the lives of a family with much less than your own. All proceeds will go toward providing necessities for the family and will help bring Christmas cheer to their lives. The more we raise, the more we will do! How will you help continue the traditions of our Angel and Santa's favorite helper, Mary Lou?