A New Perspective on Giving

A New Perspective on Giving
On this Giving Tuesday, a day globally recognized for fostering goodwill and compassion, I find myself reflecting on a recent, life-changing event for my family and me. This past weekend, while we were asleep, our home was engulfed in flames. Our family, dear friend & pets all escaped and are safe. In these moments of uncertainty and loss, the overwhelming love and support from our community have been a beacon of hope and strength.

(Click to see the news story on KSL)

Many of you, our dear family, friends, and cherished customers who have become like family over the years, have reached out with caring hearts, asking, "What do you need?" "How can we help?" "We are here for you." Your concern and willingness to lend a hand have moved us deeply, and we feel compelled to respond to these heartfelt inquiries collectively.

Originally, we had planned a different approach for today's email, focusing on giving back in a traditional sense. However, after much thought and the profound experiences of the past few days, we felt a strong need to shift our message. Today, I want to share with you not only the trials we've faced but also how this experience has reshaped our understanding of giving and support.

As we navigate this journey, we are inspired to spread a message of unity, resilience, and the power of community. Let's embrace the true spirit of Giving Tuesday by standing together and lifting each other up in times of need.
There’s nothing quite like the your house catching fire to bring all the things to be grateful for to the forefront of your mind.

I’m still in a bit of shock, we’re tired but safe & my eyes well up with tears every time I remind myself of that.

Neighbors rushed to our house in the middle of the night, comforted our kids & dogs, brought us shoes & blankets, took us inside & made us tea and hot chocolate. Watched our kids & pets when the sun came up so we could assess & plan next steps

First responders were everywhere & prevented the expectation of the house being completely gone

Our friend that was in our home at the time was also doing everything to help us & our kids while dealing w/the trauma

Red Cross volunteer & staff came in the middle of the night and brought teddy bears, hygiene items and many resources

Our State Farm agent literally showed up like a good neighbor, hugged us and brought immediate peace of mind

Our phones are filled with kind messages, outreach, offers for immediate and long term help, from friends, family, neighbors, our kids friends, and their families…amazing people from next door to across the globe

We landed at a nice hotel with a lobby decorated into a Christmas winter wonderland

Family drove for hours to be there for anything needed

We were brought transportation, clothes for our kids, Christmas decor for our hotel, special photos, our elves, food, anything we would have asked for

I’ve been in shock but a huge part of that is how loved and supported I feel to have such an outpouring of love shown to us in our time of need.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I don’t know all of what’s next but I know we’ll be okay and I know we aren’t alone. That means everything.
This season, we won’t be buying our kids more things they don’t need. We won’t be spending all that time, energy, & money planning, purchasing & presenting the perfect gifts. We don’t have the resources for it nor the space to put them. We’re so thankful for that because we know why - we get to do something different this year.

As we navigate through the aftermath of our recent ordeal, we are immensely grateful to share that our immediate physical needs have been met, thanks to the incredible outpouring of support. Now, our hearts are set on paying this kindness forward, on extending a hand to those in our community who are facing their own challenges.

No matter where you are, if you're eager to be a part of this, please RSVP HERE: https://forms.gle/gVz31w2zmaSjGRCe9
By RSVPing, you'll stay updated and join our community efforts. Additionally, for those who wish to contribute financially to this mission, please RSVP to this form as we are setting up a path to do so.

For those who may be wondering how these funds will be used, or if you're unable to contribute financially, remember there are countless ways to make a difference. Reach out within your own community, find someone in need, offer a surprise gesture of gratitude – the possibilities are endless.

Most importantly, let's make these actions meaningful. When you offer help, take a moment to connect. Look into the eyes of those you're helping, share a warm embrace, learn their stories. Let's not just give, but also feel the profound impact of our actions, allowing these experiences to transform both the giver and the receiver.

Together, let's be the beacon of goodness, embody the spirit of giving, and inspire others to do the same. This holiday season, let's fill it with smiles, warmth, and the kind of joy that resonates long after.

Stephanie Wilkinson