Joy to the worldAs people across the world hurry from here to there in preparation for spending time with their own loved ones, it’s easy to focus on the stress of the holidays rather than the potential the holidays provide for bringing joy to those around us.  Here are a few heartwarming stories of ordinary people finding the time amidst all the craziness to put the magic back into the holiday season.

A Tree for All
A double amputee and flower shop owner in Miami, Jorge Alvart, was worried he was going to lose his business when his sales of Christmas trees was stubbornly sluggish.  After having his story covered by the local NBC affiliate, one local viewer was so touched by Jorge’s plight that he set about to turn his fate around.  Mike Fernandez showed up at Jorge’s shop and wrote a check for all of the hundreds of remaining trees on Jorge’s lot.  “I don’t know him, and he says, ‘Are you Jorge?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’  And he says, ‘Well, I’m the man who’s going to buy all your trees.’  He broke my heart.”  To further this act of kindness, Mike Fernandez also arranged to have all of the trees donated to local families who could not afford to buy a tree of their own.  You can watch footage of this story here.

“Every kid deserves a little joy…a toy.”
In East Marlborough Township, Pennsylvania, students at Unionville High School pledged their assistance to the United States Marine Corps Reserve and their Toys for Tots Program.  Recognizing that many children are not as lucky as themselves, the students in the Technology and Engineering Education classes used what they have been blessed to have: their education and newly acquired skills, to painstakingly craft 100 wooden toy helicopters, from start to finish, to brighten the holidays of other children in their community.

Adopting a Family

Youth Services, Inc. is an organization serving needy families in Philadelphia.  When they were facing a shortage of gifts for the families they help, an office from BDO stepped up to the plate, adopting a family of four for the holidays.  The employees of BDO worked together to utilize the money from their annual office fundraiser to fulfill the needs and wishes of their deserving family.  They were so moved by the joy they were able to provide to their family that many employees reached deep into their own pockets to provide additional food, games, and gifts to make the holidays even more special for the mother and her three children.  One employee, Evita Staton, remarked, “There is no better feeling than knowing you’ve made a positive impact on another family’s life during the holiday season. It is my responsibility, due to all of the privileges I have been given, to help those that have less.”

Have you been busy spreading holiday cheer in your community?  Share your stories with us!