Christmas in July – a Memory!
I have so many memories of living in Carlsbad, but one of the best is serving for 20 years as the president of the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family Project.
When I first joined the board of directors in 1993, we gathered donations through a food drive held at local schools, and the U.S. Marines gave us toys from their Toys for Tots drive. A few generous people said they would rather shop for a whole family. As it turned out, “adopted” families got far more food and gifts than we were able to provide for other families, and it was less work.
The following year, I was asked to serve as president and initiated a change of focus and a new name – the “Carlsbad Christmas Bureau Adopt-A-Family Project.” Our team of dedicated volunteers worked feverishly to get schools, businesses, families and other groups to “adopt” less fortunate families here in Carlsbad. It was truly a community project, and I was amazed at the generosity of my fellow Carlsbad residents.
It was so rewarding to see the excitement of the children getting bikes and toys. I could feel the gratitude from the parents of the 500 families we helped each year.
It was a “lesson in serving” family affair, as well. Our children, Elizabeth and Ross, spent many hours at the Christmas Bureau warehouse when they were young sorting canned food or just napping, while my wife, Kathy, and I worked. As they got older, our children were able to help more by shopping for families or moving boxes in the warehouse. The experience reminded our whole family that the true joy of Christmas is in the giving.
Remembering the generosity of the people of Carlsbad, so many of which I call friends and neighbors, has always warmed my heart. There is much goodness here in our city, if we only recognize it. That is why I am running for a seat on the Carlsbad City Council representing District 4 in the southernmost part of the city.