You Don’t Always Have to Look That Far
Who doesn’t like a Christmas miracle? I think we all want to believe in miracles, or at least feel we can experience something of a miracle. I think that’s why people give part of themselves to good causes, to help someone less fortunate than they are. It only takes a few people who care to make a huge impact on others.
There is a building called Studio that houses several small companies in the city of Malmö in the country of Sweden. Each year one of those companies, Altitude Meetings, places a Christmas tree in the lobby of the building. For several years now, Altitude Meetings has encouraged other tenants of the building to ask their employees to share items of clothing and toys from their homes they no longer need. Employees are told to bring these items, wrapped, with a note attached indicating an appropriate age suitable for the “gift” and to leave them under the Christmas tree. If you are smiling now, wait, it gets even better.
With social media being used for everything under the sun, why not include posting an appeal for others to place gifts beneath this tree located in a corporate lobby to the list, it is for the shear joy of giving after all. Now we have employees within the building and people from outside the building placing gifts under the tree in the lobby of this corporate building.
Imagine the excitement at this same building when a new tenant moves in and its main purpose is humanitarian aid. Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation is asked to attend a family centered tree lighting ceremony and the Founder and President, Dr. Mariwan Baker is asked to tell the other tenants a little about the work his foundation does. Mariwan is also asked to turn the tree lights on to start this celebration, the building tenants’ workers and their children and Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation staff and children join together to celebrate the gift of giving and see how special this whole idea and its results have been. Amazing isn’t it? You see, you don’t always have to look that far to find people who will lend a helping hand.
Social media had another impact too, a second hand shop was closing and the owner called to inquire whether Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation would like to pick up the remaining children’s items that included clothes, shoes and toys. Mariwan and his staff member Johanna rented a small van and picked up all the items. The shop keeper wishes to remain anonymous, talk about a true spirit of giving!
The office building called Studio now stores all these “gifts” in a small room waiting for the Bring Hope truck to take them to Amsterdam where they will be loaded onto a different vessel and shipped to Ankawa in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. The children in the refugee camps there will receive their presents in January. Bring Hope’s long term German partner “Traces of hope” have partially covered the transportation costs by their generous financial donation.
This story would not be complete without documenting the journey these gifts take to reach their intended children and Bring Hope will be doing just that, but even more gripping is what the newest staff member of Bring Hope said, “…[this job] is one way to be a good example for my son who is 8 years old.” Johanna also said, “This collaboration we have within Studio is a great example…[to start something positive] by knocking on your neighbor’s door.”