This holiday season, many families in Brambleton took part in a movement to give back big. For one resident, the tradition began last year during Advent for her own family, which brought a lot more meaning to their holidays.
Creating a Facebook group in an effort to share this tradition with friends and family this year, the movement has since influenced many and has impacted lives within the community and beyond.
“Gifts of Kindness” is a project to drive home the compassion connection for our kids in a variety of ways, in the hope that something will “stick”. - Ashley C.
It’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit… so Advent is perfect. The Advent calendar is a great vessel to help families keep track of the “Gift of Kindness” each day. Each gift can vary from day to day. Some days would include volunteering at a local food bank or sorting holidays gifts for those in need. Other days would have you taking in your neighbors’ trash bins or bringing baked goods to the bus driver. It’s a simple plan for 25 days of serving, giving, and helping others. A fun way to experience the true MAGIC and JOY Christmas first-hand.
Beyond the daily Advent calendar plan, many families spread the “Gift of Kindness” in classrooms and anywhere they visited. Jill Nolton helped with her son’s 1st grade holiday party where one of the activities was making holiday cards for Leesburg nursing home residents. “The kids were all wild about it! It was so much fun, and there was so much creativity”, said Nolton.
Other opportunities kids have enjoyed this season were collecting canned foods door to door, delivering holiday cheer to a local nursing home, sorting holidays gifts for those in need, writing letters to help a girl achieve her “Make A Wish” dream, taping quarters to a vending machine, and so much more.
The Facebook group has quickly grown to over 230 in the past few months, with people sharing many experiences and posting personal stories and photos.
If you are looking to inspire your family, join the group and read about all the amazing opportunities to give back. The hope is for this group to grow beyond the holidays and to continue for years to come.
Search “Gifts of Kindess… pass it on!” on Facebook.
On Sunday, December 2nd, Santa & Mrs. Claus and the Arcola Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department toured around the Brambleton Community collecting food and unwrapped toys for the Holiday Coaltion. A tradition that began years ago has grown to something residents and their children look forward to each holiday season. With the growth of the community each year, the tour route often shifts to include more stops to accommodates all the new streets.
In anticipation for the trucks’ arrival at each stop, the siren’s echos are heard in the near distance, and as the sound nears, children marvel at the fleet of firetrucks that slowly parade towards them. Santa and his fleet stopped at 14 different locations on Sunday to welcome the residents (about 50 people at each stop) and thanked them for their donations to the Holiday Coalition. Brambleton residents have been generous for many years, overfilling the Arcola vans with tons of toys and food. We hope to continue this tradition for many more years to come!