Friday, December 21, 2007

Giving: Photo of the week

Photo from IvyArts

OK, usually it is my "Friday Flickr photo of the week", a photo from one of my Flickr contacts. However, I don't think IvyArts is on Flickr, at least I can't find her there. She is in lots of other cyber places with

her own website

and her Etsy store (check out her wonderful stationery and original art)

and her blog

and in a moment I will tell you why I have a picture of her cookies on my blog.

Today I thought a lot about giving. You see my work involves foster care and today I saw many of my staff gathering and wrapping presents for children and youth who wouldn't be receiving much without their generosity and that of other community members. I was able to give to that effort in a small way too and it gave me such a good feeling to help someone I didn't know. I walked around with a smile on my face all afternoon. It was such a great reminder of the true spirit of Christmas, which isn't about receiving, but about giving.

I was trying to think how I could give a little something to those on my staff who give so much all year long in their work. I decided to share a story with them, The Moccasins by Earl Einarson and Illustrated by Julie Flett. If you aren't familiar with this children's book you should check it out because it has a powerful message.

See here for a great review of this little book which I have excerpted here:

In just 13 pages, Earl Einarson, a member of the Ktunaxa First Nation, effectively reminds readers of the importance of raising children in an environment of love and safety, one which provides a positive connection to the children’s cultural heritage. While foster homes often provide a safe, loving setting, they sometimes overlook responding to the foster child’s natal roots. Such was not the case for Earl Einarson, because, as the excerpt indicates, Einarson’s foster mother provided him with a tangible connection to his culture while telling him to be proud of his Native heritage.

When I arrived home later in the afternoon, I found a small package waiting for me and inside a wonderful collection of cookies from IvyArts including a little package of the luscious Lemon Pecan Slices shown in the photo above. IvyArts (Peg) and I only know each other through our blogs and Etsy stores, but her gift of a dozen cookies made a powerful connection between us. Thanks, Peg, so much for giving. The cookies are "delish"! And your gift is such a wonderful affirmation of the true spirit of the season. Happy Holidays everyone!

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