A beautiful display was showcased in Middletown, Connecticut last week, and just in time for Christmas. Friends and families were so grateful for another year with Wreaths Across America who came to lay wreaths at the graves of soldiers.
Wreaths Across America is a national program that pays tribute to our veterans to ensure they are remembered and honored during the holiday season. Until this year, they were never able to raise enough donations to collect wreaths for all the veterans buried in Middletown’s cemetery in the ten years they had been coming. This year volunteers were able to collect 9,600 wreaths, and it is quite an elegant site to see. Some families came early to put unique wreaths on grave stones which made the whole cemetery that much more beautiful.
Wreaths Across America says this is much more than decorating a grave, it’s about remembering the lives lost. John Casey, a Vietnam veteran and also co captain of the Patriot Guard Riders in Connecticut stated; “When you go to each grave and you put it down, you read out their name so that when you say the name you remember that person.”
The event was filled with a record number of volunteers, making it a wonderfully moving and magnificent day for everyone who took part, and for all veterans being honored this Christmas season.
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s a wonderful time to take a step back from rushing around the malls and smile at all the people doing amazing things for others this holiday season. Going down to Florida for this Spotlight, Rollins College student Mark Gagnon decided to make a family of strangers this Christmas in downtown Orlando.
Mark decided to bring his living room out to a street corner, fully furnished with couches, a Christmas tree, a fireplace, family photos, and…Christmas gifts! This cozy set up caught loads of people’s attention, and those intrigued enough to stop by and say hello were happily surprised with a gift to take home.
Mark’s welcoming invitation brought along several strangers who shared stories about favorite memories over the years during the holiday season. From heartfelt stories of spending Christmas with grandparents, to decorating for the first time for a foster child, to best Christmases with moms, it’s amazing how the one thing all these strangers had in common wasn’t what gift they loved the most, but their love and thanks for family when it comes to Christmas.
There’s nothing like the light and fun feeling of being a kid again, and this is exactly what Mark was able to give others this year. Thank you for reminding us all how grateful we are for our families, and how even a stranger on the street can be a new friend and someone to make smile.
Watch the full video here!
Cherry Hill, New Jersey was buzzing a bit more than usual this black Friday with the help of a truly admirable secret Santa. Charlie K decided to spend this year’s black Friday giving rather than buying for himself. Arriving at the Toys “R” Us in town, Charlie and his son happily surprised the store and its shoppers when he picked up the tab for 60 layaway orders, totaling over $10,000.
This heartwarming act was inspired by Charlie’s love for his community and wanting to fulfill some Christmas wishes for people. The Cherry Hill community is so glad to have someone like this to look up to and be thankful for this season. Families in the store who witnessed this remarked at how incredible this act of kindness was, and were inspired by Charlie’s desire to make others happy.
One lucky woman named Stephanie Dawson came to the store to find out she was one of the customer’s whose order was paid for by Charlie. This meant seven gifts for all of her grandchildren. Others who stepped forward say it’s been the best feeling to find out their secret Santa was looking out for them, and are so thankful.
“I’m trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family,” he told CBS 3. “I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it.” – Charlie K.
In addition to this generous gesture, Charlie also purchased $2,000 worth of items to donate for Toys for Tots. Thank you for being Cherry Hill’s holiday angel this year, Charlie. To all our readers, as 2017’s Christmas season approaches and you remember all that you’re grateful for, what is one small act of kindness you can do to change a life?
Sourced from here.