It could always be you

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Marissa Tucker
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The holiday seasons can come with many happy and warm feelings for some, and for others, it brings the feeling of knowing they are unable to do everything they would like to for their family members.

Ask around about peoples childhood Christmas stories, and one may still have that light in their eyes about the doll they got, or a train set they really wanted. The sad part is that everyone did not have that experience and many children this year will not either.

There are so many different charity donation drives going on that one may wonder if the goods actually get to those in need, or if it is overkill. The truth is that there are so many people in need that there is never enough someone can do. I know for a fact that without the generosity of others, my entire life could have had a completely different outcome.

Oct. 7, 1998, my house was set on fire. I lived in a row house, where there are four houses connected. Luckily, no one was killed or severely injured, but we lost everything in the house. Photos, furniture, beds, everything.

Because I was 10, my parents never really shared with me the real trouble we were in. Our home insurance was not enough to cover the extensive damage and also did not provide another roof over our heads. We stayed with relatives who tried to help, but they could only do so much.

We had nothing but our school uniforms and that same day, a church we did not even attend donated clothes to us. I wondered how they even knew who we were, but later I found out that the person who called the fire department told them what happened. Those kind people did not just give us their old clothes, which would have been more than generous. They bought us several things, including, shoes, clothes and books. Because of them, we had something to change into and have a bit of normalcy back, and if you've ever known that feeling of complete helplessness, you know there are no words to describe the feeling.

Before Thanksgiving arrived, we moved into an apartment while our house was being fixed. People from my mother's job completely furnished our apartment and bought us groceries to last at least a month. The kindness of so many people really overwhelmed my parents and they made sure all of us knew that we had all of these things because other people cared about us. Although times did get harder for us, we never forgot how people had helped us. It was because of them my family could stay together and did not have to live in a shelter. It could have easily gone a different way and I could have started believing that people in the world were cold hearted and nobody cared. Maybe I would have never joined an organization that puts so much emphasis on helping others.

The point is you never know when it will be you. I had two parents with jobs and it was still a struggle getting our lives back on track. Sure, I could hate the person who took everything away from us and could have killed my parents, but I'd rather be grateful for the many people who helped us. For some, it was a small thing to do, but it meant the world to us. Give someone a reason to believe they are not alone in the world, that someone who does not know them cares. That small act of kindness could change someone's life, and you never know when you might be that person who needs a helping hand.