Monday, December 16, 2013

Aww Monday: Little Angels

Being away from home is so difficult for parents, and never more so than at a special holiday time.

This can be true for parents who have to travel for work, and for those who are divorced and the children are with the ex this year.  Somehow, though, i think it's probably worst for those who are in prison.  Somehow i can only imagine how much the lifestyle choices that led to a prison sentence can weigh on a parent who now cannot see the joy in her/his children's eyes when they open gifts.  One of life's biggest Aww moments is watching kids tear into a gift on Christmas morning.

That's why there is a ministry called Angel Tree.  It's part of Prison Fellowships Ministries, and inmates can ask that toys be given to their children in their name, and with messages of love from behind bars.

The children love that their parent in prison didn't forget them, and the parents specify what type of toy or gift the child gets.

Thus last week, Little Girl and i braved the mall (a place we almost never go), and actually hit upon a store that had what we needed right off.  There may have been a real angel guiding us there.

Then, on Saturday, we went to the children's home, and gave them the gifts from their father, who is in Angola Penitentiary.  (Note:  about 80% of the men who end up there are there for 40+ years to life, which means most of them do not ever get out.  Their only contact with their children is through Prison Fellowship/Angel Tree and the rare visits the families can make up there.)

The 3-year-old got the learning toys specified.
Finding a purse for a 10-year-old at the mall worked!

Because the toys for the younger girl were electronic learning toys (the kind that each alphabet and numbers and other basic skills), we also gave the mother a gift -- a large pack of batteries!

Today is:

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day -- if you need an explanation, you don't have kids; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays

Beethoven Day -- celebrate the anniversary of his birth by listening to one of his fine works

Bijoy Dibosh -- Bangladesh (Victory Day)

Day of Reconciliation -- South Africa

Day of the Republic -- Kazakhstan (Independence from the USSR in 1991)

Festival of Sapientia -- Ancient Roman Empire (personification of wisdom and knowledge)

Full Cold Moon or Full Long Nights Moon (also Black Moon or Death Crone Moon)
     Mangshir Dhanya Purnima -- Nepal (special harvest/farming festival that starts off the month of Mangshir)
     Nattaw Full Moon -- Myanmar
     Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka (began sunset yesterday)

Icelandic Yuletide Lad of the Day, Pottasleiker -- Pot-licker, who tries to snatch unwashed pots and lick them clean

Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society Annual Meeting

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

National Day/Independence Day -- Bahrain(1971)

Posadas Navidenas (Fiesta of the Virgin of the Lonely) -- Mexico (celebrated through the 24th, "pilgrims" go house to house seeking shelter to commemorate the search of Mary and Joseph for shelter in Bethlehem)

Simbang Gabi -- Philippines (Christmas festivals that last until Three Kings Day)

St. Adelaide's Day (Patron of abuse victims, brides, empresses, exiles, in-law problems, parenthood, parents of large families, princesses, prisoners, second marriages, step-parents, and widows)

Stupid Toy Day -- make sure you aren't giving any of those to any kids you buy for

Tea Party Day -- Boston, MA, US (anniversary of the 1773 Party)

Vijay Diwas --  India (Victory Day)

Wan Kila Haeng Chat -- Thailand (National Sports Day)

Birthdays Today:

Michael McCary, 1971
Benjamin Bratt, 1963
William "Refrigerator" Perry, 1962
Jon Tenney, 1961
Alison La Placa, 1959
Billy Gibbons, 1949
Benny Andersson, 1946
Steven Bochco, 1943
Lesley Stahl, 1941
Liv Ullmann, 1939
Bruce N Ames, 1928
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917
Margaret Mead, 1901
Noel Coward, 1899
Wassily Kandinsky, 1866
George Santayana, 1863
Jane Austen, 1775
Ludwig von Beethoven, 1770
Catherine of Aragon, 1536

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"One Day At a Time"(TV), 1975
"Dragnet"(TV), 1951
"Me and My Girl"(Musical), 1937
"Variety"(Magazine), 1905
Dvorak's "From the New World"(Symphony), 1893 (often called "New World Symphony")

Today in History:

An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China, 755
Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000, 1631
Oliver Cromwell sworn in as English Lord Protector, 1653
The last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan, 1707
A big tea party in Boston harbor -- Indians welcome -- is "celebrated" (Boston Tea Party), 1773
Fire burns over 600 buildings in NYC, 1835
In New Zealand, the Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, 1850
The Kingdom of Nepal accepts its constitution, 1862
Antonín Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From The New World is given its world première performance at Carnegie Hall, 1893
The first submarine with an internal combustion engine is demonstrated, 1897
The "Great White Fleet" sails from Hampton Downs on its round the world tour, 1907
The first credit union in the US is formed, in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1908
The first US postage stamp picturing an airplane, a 20 cent parcel post, is issued, 1912
Albert Einstein publishes his "General Theory of Relativity", 1915
The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000, 1920
Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again, 1937
Thailand joins the United Nations, 1945
William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor, 1947
Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era US city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks, 1978
An episode of Pokemon, "Denno Senshi Porygon", aired in Japan induces seizures in 685 Japanese children, 1997
George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law, 2003


  1. nothing to add but OH MY HEART...

  2. How do you know the people who get the gifts. I have donated toys but never know the families who get them. I feel so removed from the process.

  3. I spent 25 years working lockups on the county level. We were the first stop before prison. We also had a toy program for these guys. You'd be surprised at how many really don't care about all the kids they have scattered about. Then there are a few that did. It's a sad thing. Bless you for doing this.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥♥♥

  4. How tough it must be to have a parent in prison, it's so great that you are helping with this!

    Now off to go celebrate "national chocolate covered anything" day...

  5. Wonderful stuff. God Bless you, Mimi. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Good for you. That's certainly a worthwhile program. Kids shouldn't have to lose out on Christmas just because a parent is incarcerated.

  7. Mimi- once again you raise the bar for us lucky enough to be able to give to others we don't know. We dont have a program like that here, but we have giving trees for local families and their children.
    Thanks from the bottom of my heart for reminding all of us.

  8. How very sweet are you?.. extremely! I wonder, as Tabor did though.. how did you connect with the kids?

  9. very nice of you, we always give through Kiwanis they give to a woman's shelter but this year we got a mom I prefer to buy for the kids but it is done and I am sure she will be happy

  10. Good for you. Angel Tree is a wonderful program--allowing folks to help for many years.


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