Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Giving is Awesome announcement!

I can honestly say, without blinking an eye, that choosing a Giving is Awesome candidate was one of the hardest decisions that we've ever had to make. 

After announcing our participation in Giving is Awesome, it didn't take long for nominations to start pouring in. I guess I wasn't quite expecting the impact that this opportunity would make in my own life. In the beginning, I saw Giving is Awesome as an extension of provision to someone else - the possibility of an internal affect never even crossed my mind. Oooh, but that quickly changed. 

There were many nights that I sat in front of our computer in my sweats, tears plopping onto my keyboard. I didn't merely cry out of sympathy - I cried out of humility. I cried because I take my "basic" blessings for granted on a daily basis. I cried because I live a life of comfort and satisfaction, but I still have selfish moments of griping.

And I smiled. I smiled because of the amount of love that was dripping off of every story written in. These are real people, writing about real people - people who deserve jobs, money, food, love, support, shelter. Emotion ran deep through each nomination, and I was taken aback by the amount of sheer compassion extended through these e-mails. I smiled because I have hope for our world. 

Ben and I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading each nomination. I found it exceptionally challenging to remain objective in this type of situation - how can we choose just one when everyone is so deserving? After countless conversations and a few more emotional moments, we've reached a decision:


Nominated by Kenny Backhaus, the Gilmer family - consisting of Sarah (wife and mom), Dan (husband and dad), Chloe (oldest daughter and sister), and Claire (youngest daughter and sister) seems to be quite the amazing bunch. Kenny is Sarah's step-brother, and he had a lot of truly heartfelt, incredible things to say about his sister and her family. Due to the personal nature of the Gilmer's story, I will not be posting it on the blog. However, I would like to share a little of what Kenny wrote about their family:


Read over the highlighted section - talk about a powerful couple of lines! After the Gilmer's situation was brought to our attention, I started thinking about how I would cope given similar circumstances. In all honesty, I'm not sure I'd be able to say with complete confidence that I'd be as strong as they have been. And that factor - remaining resilient and dedicated amid intense trials - is why Ben and I would be honored to offer a complimentary photography session (complete with all the goodies previously mentioned) to the Gilmer family.

We would be extremely remiss to exclude this info:
To all individuals who have written in nominations - we will personally contact each of you after Christmas. Thank you for influencing our lives through your love. We admire your compassion more than we could ever describe.

Have a wonderful Christmas! :)

Much love,
Ben and Amy


Letty said...

This was an awesome idea guys!!! I am so honored to call you guys friends. :o)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a truly deserving family. I'm proud of you all for doing this project. Giving IS awesome!
Love you bunches,