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Advertise on the Tentacle

December 4, 2008

Open Your Hearts and Your Wallets

Joan Marie Aquilino

Christmas Cash for Kids is winding up, but it‘s not over yet. If you haven't heard of this fabulous program hosted by our very own Bob Miller, hordes of volunteers, and WFMD (930 AM), then all I can say is you don't really live in Frederick County; or your cave doesn't get a radio signal.


You can talk Global Warming, get burnt over trash, scream about the county or school budgets. You can whine about income and property taxes, but when it's all said and done, be happy you aren't spending that time trying to find a meal for your family and explaining why Santa won‘t be stopping by your house this year for your children.


There is very little else that matters in your life if you haven't made a difference in the life of a child – known or unknown. Children have no fault for their circumstances.


My children have always embraced and supported efforts to help others. It’s always been a part of their lives, so it just comes naturally. They have endured struggles, but never so much that there wasn’t something to share with someone less fortunate. Teaching a child to help others will only enhance their lives. They will only learn that by watching you. This is not a lesson taught with words; it’s one learned by actions.


We have more than 2,300 children living and growing right here in Frederick County who need our help. They aren’t in a country across an ocean, nor in some far off place you can't feel, can't see and will never visit.


These children are right in front of you, the child next door. It could be a sweet child your own son or daughter plays with on a daily basis, or sits next to your child in school.


Take the time to look into the eyes of these children. You'll quickly see something is missing. That sparkle that children are supposed to have in their eyes is lost. These are the eyes of children who have to experience the harshness life gave them. These are children robbed of an easy going casual someone-will-take-care-of-my-every-need childhood. These are children already aware of the cruel realities of life. It’s within your power to put that sparkle back in their eyes. Follow your heart and help a child.


This month sees the added burden of the holidays and why Santa won’t be visiting them. Why Santa was at the house across the street but didn’t come to their house. You have an amazing opportunity to change that, with your gift of cash. You alone can return their smile, hope and faith.


With your donation you are changing the life of a child. It’s an easy and very achievable goal for everyone. Thanks to you there will be children that awaken Christmas morning expecting nothing, yet will be amazed when they see their prayers were answered and Santa did visit them. They weren’t forgotten.


There is no amount of money in the world equal to the look of a child on Christmas morning, especially the ones who didn't expect to wake up and see anything different from any other morning.


You can make a difference and be that special person that makes a child smile. How wonderful a feeling is that? It doesn’t get any better.


It takes my breath away to know that my little donation can make the difference between a child’s prayer being answered or not. Hold onto that thought and feeling Christmas morning when you know a child somewhere in this very community we call home is smiling and laughing because of you, because of your caring and kindness. There is no greater sound in the world than that of a laughing child.


The sparkle and light in a child’s eyes on Christmas morning can light the world; but the tear in that same child’s eyes will sadden the world.


We may not be able to change the world, but we can certainly make a difference right here in our community. Your $5 donation can make as much difference as someone else's $1,000 contribution.


Spend time this week listening to 930 on your AM dial, and you'll know immediately why I've chosen to fully support Christmas Cash for Kids. There is no overhead, every single penny you give goes to the child, the experience of Christmas morning and all its magic. Not only does every cent go directly to the children, it's even more than your dollar because of the ability and generosity of many businesses that give the discounts, know how to shop for the best bargains and give the unending hours to make sure they squeeze every cent possible out of every single dollar.


You can even charge your donation this year and we have two generous donors (Tate Chrysler & PNC Bank) covering the credit card charges.


The challenge I issued in my last column to all Frederick County elected officials still stands. That goes for the Board of County Commissioners, the Board of Education, court judges, clerks, attorney, state delegates and senators, and members of Congress, municipal leaders – all of you.


You take free publicity and full advantage of it whenever you can get it. Well, here is your chance to make a difference and give back to a child. Give at least $50 to Christmas Cash for Kids and I will do the same. I'm going to pull out all the stops and use any amount of shame or guilt I can if that is what gets you to contribute.


I'm giving; I'm also the recipient of the very shaky economy many are experiencing. So, if I can manage to give and I have no job then there is no reason, no excuse big enough for you not to give also.


Use those email lists of yours and send out a blast email to everyone asking them to give. Put your own ego aside and help others. If you can't find at least $50 to help a child, then maybe public service isn't the job best suited to you. The officials who have given so far have donated at least $100. Those that have given, thank you and those that haven't – move it – move it – move it. You have one day left.


The elected officials that give will be mentioned during the course of the week, so it's obvious who did and didn't give. Please, I'm begging you to be part of the givers’ list. Set the example. Lead the way. Do what you know is the right thing and spread the wealth. Party and politics don't matter in the heart and eyes of a child on Christmas morning. Be the reason for their smile and laughter, not their tears.


Call the radio station, WFMD @ 301-694-9363, or stop by any Frederick PNC Bank office to make your donation.


’til next time . . .



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