As the sisters got together and brainstormed what we could do this holiday season, we threw around a lot of ideas – 12 days of fudge recipe, our favorite Christmas cookies, even 12 days of giveaways . . . but nothing felt right. Then we had a new idea- what if we found 12 families who could use a little bit of extra help and love this holiday season?
Last year we were blown away by the thoughtfulness of our readers as we helped one family who was going through a hard time, so this year we decided that we would go a little further and help 12 families! To us, we feel the most joy when we focus on what the holidays are really all about and we believe that the true meaning of Christmas is to love and serve others. With that being said, we are so excited to bring to you our 12 Days of Giving Back!
For the next 12 days, we will be introducing you to 12 different families who were nominated by our readers as people who could use a little extra help during this time. We received HUNDREDS of nominations and each story touched our hearts. The 12 that we chose really had an impact on us and we knew that we needed to help them.
With each post, we will tell one family’s story and share ways that you can help this family in need. Even if you don’t have money to donate but would still like to help, we will be donating $1 for every recipe that is uploaded to our new recipe sharing site, My Recipe Magic (up to $100 per day). If you would like to share your recipes and help donate to the family, CLICK HERE for the instructions to get you started (it’s easy!).
Day 1: The Caldwell Family
I am so excited to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Stacy.
After experiencing painful headaches and seizures, Stacy was diagnosed with Astrocytoma Glioma (a type of brain cancer) in 2008. She has undergone radiation, multiple surgeries, and tried many different procedures and medications. The tricky part about astrocytoma is that it isn’t a tumor that can be removed- this cancer spreads over multiple cells at a rapid rate, making it next to impossible to remove through surgery. Despite valiant efforts to remove and slow down the cancer, it continues to spread.
Because of the surgeries and the spreading cancer, Stacy has lost most of the feeling in her left side. She has also suffered memory loss, which makes the day-to-day life difficult. Although the cancer continues to take it’s toll on her body, doctors and modern medicine have helped to extend Stacy’s time here on earth. Every day is such a gift to Stacy and she feels blessed to have this time with her three children and husband.
Before the headaches and seizures and cancer, Stacy was very involved and active in her church and community. She was always serving others and was the kindest neighbor and friend, always putting others before herself.
Even though Stacy is dealing with the biggest trial of her life, she is still looking for ways to serve others. Shortly after I moved into my neighborhood (about three years ago), I lost a baby girl. It was a really hard and depressing time in my life. Although Stacy was in the thick of her cancer treatments, she found the time to come over and visit me. The cost of her medical treatments left her and her family with little money, but she had still made a gift for me- a beautiful beaded bracelet that took her a long time to make. She came over to just talk and give me my gift and I still remember just being so impressed by her positive attitude and desire to help others. She was sick and tired, yet she wanted to come over and let me know she was thinking about me. I remember asking her why she wanted to help me when it should be the other way around- I should be the one helping her! Her response was simple- she just told me that she has so many blessings in her life that she wanted to pay it forward and bless someone else’s life.
Stacy is no longer able to work because of her health and so her husband Mike is supporting the family himself. While most of Stacy’s days are now spent in bed, her oldest son is serving a voluntary two-year mission for their church over in Russia and her two daughters (ages 13 and 9) are both in school. They are amazing children who are doing good things- thanks to a great mother and father. Stacy’s medical struggles are getting progressively more difficult and the cost of medical care, medication, numerous doctor visits and everything else are adding up.
We don’t know how much time Stacy has left with us and we want to make everyday as good as possible for her and her family. This Christmas season, we are hoping that we can help ease their burden and add a little cheer by sharing their story and making it possible for our readers from all over the world to be able to donate. Whether it’s just $1 or much more than that, we know that every little bit will help!
We also know that for many of you, money is tight. So during these next twelve days, for every recipe that is uploaded to our new site (My Recipe Magic) we will donate $1 to the family who we spotlight each day (up to $100 a day). For instructions on how to upload a recipe, CLICK HERE.
To donate to Stacy and her family, click here:
All money donated during the 12 Days of Giving Back will go directly to the families and the specific bank accounts that they have set up through PayPal. All families chosen for this have been thoroughly screened and we feel you can donate confidently, knowing that your donation is going to a most-deserving family.