COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS IN A PANDEMIC!
2020, Good riddance!
If you're anything like us, you cannot wait to turn the page on this most heartbreaking, nerve wracking and devastating year anyone under 100 years of age can remember.
It was a year of lost loved ones, lost businesses, lost jobs, lost homes and lost faith.
Simply horrible. Almost no words to describe the toll this pandemic has taken on us all.
Like 300,000 plus other American families, we also lost a parent to this scourge, and were - sadly and helplessly - not able to be at her side as she passed. There's not way to adequately describe that heartbreak.
And like tens of thousands of other small business owners, our SmartFelt Toys took a hit.
There are lots of things to be angry and anxious about.
But we have decided to focus on the positive.
WE HAVE A LOT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!
Yvonne and I are healthy. We've become the equivalent of cloistered monks, going out only absolutely necessary, triple-masking, engaging in hand washing that would make those with OCD jealous, and avoiding close contact with anyone.
But we're alive!
Our 23 year old son, Kris, is healthy too and has agreed to stay under our roof until this pandemic is over. Just knowing we can keep him safe for the next few months brings us great relief.
And we're employed. Yvonne continues to work remotely as a Speech Language Pathologist for her Charter School and I've been lucky enough to score a job in television, at a time when those jobs are few and far between, working remotely on Steve Harvey's Facebook Watch show.
And then there is our raison d'etre:
Amazingly, at a time when so many other small businesses have gone under, we have been able to stay afloat.
It's still a struggle, and we've definitely taken some hits, but we've still got a business and a dream, dammit!
All things considered, we know we are damn lucky!
MOM'S ALWAYS RIGHT
So we decided this holiday season to give back because, as my mom used to say when I would complain about my life, there are always people who would love to be as unlucky as you.
And of course she was right.
BE THE CHANGE
Through my tv show, I was introduced to a 12 year old named Chelsea who has made it her mission to help underprivileged kids. At her 10th birthday party, in lieu of gifts, she asked her friends to bring art supplies that she could donate to kids at her local homeless shelter.
One thing led to another and Chelsea's Charity was born.
One of her favorite causes is a non-profit called Together We Rise, which helps foster kids all over the US find placements for them, provide comfort and shelter and ease their assimilation.
We were so moved, we happily donated 100 of our play sets to Together We Rise on behalf of Chelsea. Kids in the foster system often have trouble expressing themselves and hopefully our sets will help them verbalize what they're thinking and going through.
Was it the smartest business decision? Probably not.
But we have it so much better than so many others, we just had to do something.
More important than anything else...it was good for the soul! It feels good to help.
IF YOU CAN HELP DO...IF YOU NEED HELP, DON'T BE TOO PROUD TO ASK!
Or if there's somebody else you know who could use a small or large gesture, make it!
And if you could use some help yourselves, we will pray that you receive a hand up from someone else. And don't be afraid to ask.
Wishing you all love, health and happiness AND A MUCH BETTER 2021.