Tis the season of giving!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Not everyone is going to share that feeling. The holiday scramble is upon us trying to find the best sales and gifts for everyone. Every year the list grows and the magic is slowly lost. The holidays can bring an unfortunate amount of stress. Whether it be the financial aspect or not being able to spend it the way you want or with whom you want. Some years it takes a little more effort to see through the stressful fog of the holidays and embrace the season of cheer and giving. Isn’t that what the holidays are really for? Spending time with loved ones and giving back to others who are less fortunate. I’m enjoying every moment with my little girl. Seeing the innocence in her eyes and the true joy from all things Christmas.

My friend Tony Osso has truly embraced the giving spirit. His passion for helping others has expanded into a beautiful giving event. Tony is organizing the second annual “Blessing in a Backpack” along with the help of several volunteers. This event wouldn’t be possible without the people who volunteer their time, as well as companies who donate food and materials needed. They are asking for people to donate a backpack filled with essential items as well as a kind note. Every backpack had the message JL (Just Love), and a handwritten message to allow the person to have someone to connect to during the holiday season. The many volunteers walk throughout NYC and hand out these backpacks to the homeless. Last year’s goal was to provide 25 bags to the homeless and received an overwhelming response of over 120 bags. This years goal is to reach 500 bags!

When I asked him what gave him the idea and motivation to do this, his answer brought tears to my eyes. “I had a great year in 2017 and I wanted to give back. When I worked in NYC I would see so many homeless people on my walk to work and on my walk home. I would feel so sad and I would ask the question “how does one get to these circumstances.” I realized it can happen to anyone, at any time. I would give them food, clothes and saw how appreciative most of them were. All they need is support and a chance. I know I’ve needed that in my life to get through my tough times. My parents are hardworking immigrants, and they made a good life for themselves. But, I can’t help to think that if my Dad got sick when he first came here (with only few hundred dollars), they could have been in the same situation. And if they didn’t become homeless, it would have been because of the support of others. Let’s support the less fortunate and Blessings In A Backpack was started. Let’s bless the less fortunate with a backpack filled of bare essential items that will help them, support them and with great hopes that it may change the course of someone’s life. I am so grateful for the growing support this cause has received! JL=Just Love!”

The backpacks will be delivered on December 12!

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