The following is the report of our 2010 Beehive Bookstore Christmas jar to giveaway winner. Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the giveaway. Thanks to all of you who contributed, the jar contained $95.37!
I have thought many times where to begin with writing about my husband's and my experience with the Christmas jar. I guess the only place I can begin is at the beginning. In October of 2010 my husband and I relocated to the Bay Area from out of state. I transferred to a new position with the company I had been working with and my husband continued to work with a construction company in the Bay Area. At my place of work I meet a woman whom we will call Susan. Susan, I could tell, was a special lady. She seemed gruff and blunt in her words to those around her, but I knew there was more behind her hard exterior. I was determined to get to know her.
In the meantime my husband and I had been collecting soda and juice bottles at home for recycling. Of course the trash bags of bottles just sat on the porch wasting away not heading to any recycling station anytime soon. One day while I was at work I noticed Susan collecting any and all recyclable bottles from our work trash can. I immediately thought of all the bottles on my patio. The next day with the help of my husband we brought the bags of bottles to work and with a sharpie pen I wrote Susan’s name on the bags. She was so happy to receive the extra bottles, and I was glad that she could use them.
After living in the Bay Area for a month my husband and I visited the local Beehive Bookstore. While there I noticed a raffle and entered my name, and we left for home. I forgot about the raffle. In the meantime I had time set apart from December 23rd to December 31st for vacation from work. I was so excited to have some time off to visit family out of state. I had been looking forward to the time off for months. As it neared my vacation time a fellow coworker was looking for someone to work their shift on December 23rd so that she could visit her father out of state with her family. If I worked for her it meant I could not travel home to see my family until Christmas Eve. I felt the need to help her and that I needed to be here for some reason even though it meant I would be traveling on Christmas Eve and losing one day of my hard-earned vacation I had been looking forward to. I consented and was scheduled to work on December 23rd.
On December 22nd my husband and I once again headed to the bookstore to pick up some last minute Christmas gifts. We checked out and needed to stop at another store in the area. As soon as we left to head back home I noticed I received a message on my phone. A call from the Beehive Bookstore informed me that I had been the lucky winner of the raffle and that the prize was something that was to be given away to someone. After hearing the message my husband I both looked at each other and without saying a word we both knew who we would give the gift to whatever the gift may be. So we headed back to the Beehive Bookstore to collect the prize and receive instructions on what to do. Once I arrived at the bookstore I was told about the Christmas Jar. I had not read the store “The Christmas Jar” or even heard the story. The bookstore manager gave me a synopsis of how the Christmas jar works. She asked me to pray about who I would give it to. So after we counted the amount of funds in the jar, I collected the jar and went home. I prayed about Susan as my choice to give the jar to and went to bed. Before I left for work in the morning I kneeled in prayer again about the Christmas jar and Susan. I had an overwhelming feeling of warmth in my heart that she was the person who the jar needed to go to. So I grabbed a blank Christmas card and the Christmas jar and got in my car and headed on the 45 min commute to work.
Upon arriving I quickly wrote what came to my heart in the card which read,
“This is a special gift from an accumulation of individuals who love to serve others and share their love of Christ with those around them. These individuals do not know each other and I do not know them but I was lead to give this special gift to you. I hope this finds need with you and your family and if you feel you know of someone who may stand in need of this gift you are welcome to share it. Have a very Merry Christmas.”
I went into work hiding the card and jar in my bag wondering how I was going to anonymously give the jar to Susan. Where I work at certain times of the shift certain workers are sent to certain stations. I usually am sent ahead to one station while another employee with follow 20 mins behind me and Susan is always left at the same station never going to the station that I go to. That day was different Susan was sent ahead of me to my station and I was scheduled to follow 10 mins behind her. It was perfect! Five minutes after she left I went to her locker and amazingly she had no lock on her locker that day. So I swiftly got the jar and card out of my bag and put it her locker concealing it just enough so that no one would think anything of the jar if they were to look into her locker. I swiftly headed to the station Susan was waiting at. After an hour we finished our shift and headed back to the break room to clock out. I was waiting which seemed like an eternity for Susan to clock out. I wanted to make sure she received the jar seeing that I was due to leave the next day and for the simple fact that there was no lock on Susan’s locker. Finally! She clocked out and headed straight for her locker. All of sudden we all hear,”What is this…O my goodness…O my gosh.” Susan proceeded to our manager’s office and opened the card crying. She read the card out loud bawling. The manager upon hearing the card told Susan, “Your family does need this.” Shortly after Susan came in the break room where we were waiting, and we saw that she was crying. She shared with us the card and the jar. She exclaimed, “Hallelujah! I’m going to be in church on Sunday praising my testimonies to the Lord…what a blessing…praise the Lord.” We were all so happy for her. We walked out together and as we did so Susan hugged everyone and I mean everyone…praising the Lord, sharing her story of the card and the Christmas jar, and expressing her love to those she hugged. She was so happy.
I felt so blessed to be able to present the gift of the Christmas Jar to her and to experience her joy of receiving it. Thank you to all those whom filled the Christmas Jar with their love… because it carried over to a much deserving person.