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Thank you for visiting our Christmas Service Blog. We welcome comments from visitors.
We would love to hear if you decide to implement this idea in your family.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Amy

What pressure to have Amy, the one who came up with this whole idea! Can I just say how wonderful and stress free that this "gift-giving" was. It was wonderful to focus on what service for others that I could do, instead of material things, waiting in lines, fighting crowds, and spending money. I feel truly blessed to be a member of this family.

Before we decided to do this service gift exchange, I began looking for winter coats for my girls. I also wanted to get coats for Amy's kids, knowing that this was the first year back in real winter weather. I started by asking my sisters if they had any had-me-down coats. Then I mentioned it to my mom whose ward Relief Society was having a clothing swap enrichment night. I also asked a few friends around here if they had coats they had grown out of. In the midst of this, we decided to do the service exchange and I was assigned Amy. It was perfect!

Rather than just send Amy the coats we found, Chuck and I decided to work together to exercise some faith. I called my Relief Society President and asked if there was somebody in the ward who had young kids, whose family had a difficult economic year, and who needed some warm coats. She told me about a family with 2 young boys and only one coat between the 2 of them. They would take turns wearing the coat to school. We began praying that if we helped this family, somebody would help the Dittbrenners in Colorado. I was able to find a coat for the younger son to have his own. We never met the family; just simply asking the RS President to pass the coat on to them for me.

I just kept feeling that this was not enough, I wanted to do something for AMY. So I decided to send a box of warm clothes for her and her girls. I went through my boxes and found heavy coats, light jackets, sweaters, hats and scarves to send to her family. Colorado is much, much colder than Virginia and I hope that they can use some of what I sent.

I realized that I have collected a lot of things I do not need and I hope that you all enjoy them. Before we shipped them, we took this picture of me wearing some of the items I sent to them.


  1. Could have used some of those jackets up here in Canada! Great idea, reminds me of the story of Pres Grant giving his brand new coat to a poor young boy. See the story below:

    Heber’s father died when he was just nine days old. His mother was very poor and had a hard time providing for herself and little Heber. She supported them by sewing for other people and taking in boarders. Sometimes she sewed for so many hours without resting that she could hardly push the pedal of her old-fashioned sewing machine. Heber would often crawl under the sewing machine and push the pedal for her. The winters were very cold in Salt Lake City, and Heber had only a thin, worn coat to keep him warm. He longed to have a warm coat but knew that they barely had enough money for food. Heber was delighted on his birthday when his mother presented him with a warm winter coat that she had made for him. His new coat was his most prized possession. A few weeks later, as Heber was hurrying on an errand, he saw a boy about his size shivering with cold. The boy was wearing a thin sweater, and Heber remembered how it felt not to have a warm coat. Heber took off his new coat and insisted that the boy put it on. He told the boy to keep it because he had another coat at home.

  2. Ashley, you are so great! My girls were so excited to have the new coats and sweaters. We now have very warm coats for all our kids! We were provided for by Ash and other Angels... Love you!

  3. I love this photo of Ashley! I think next years Christmas Calendar will have to have all of these photos in it!

  4. Wonderful job Ashley.I am so thankful for you and for the suport you give to chuck. Have I ever told you that you are my favorite daughter in law?, well I want to know that you really are awesome and I am so glad you are part of our Family.

  5. I left out the word YOU, please insert for me

  6. As the winners of Chuck's best usage of photos awards, some of our (the Hocks) pics are a tad goofy for the calendar!

    I agree that this picture is SO great of Ashley. Tonight at the Wards (breaking news- it was just me and mom this year) we were sharing our new tradition and mom was glowing as the talked about this one. I could tell how touch she was by Ashley's love for Amy, as am I.

    Ashley, I love you so much and could not imagine a greater addition as a 5th sister! What else is there besides... Ashley... WOO HOO! Great job.

  7. Oh Ashley, how I love you! REally, I am so lucky to have such a great sister in law! You just add so much to our family and you really do care about all of us. And this picture just makes me miss you even more!!!

  8. what a fun project!
    I know the girls loved their coats. They told me all about it.
    Love you Ashley!