Monday, November 24, 2014

Atoning For My Sins (Event - Toys For Tots Benefit Dinner)

If there were an award for the Mean Old Lady in the Neighborhood, I'd have no competition at all.  It's no secret that kids and I are rarely ever in sync, and it's just one of the many reasons I never had any of my own. 

Admittedly, I tend to be hard on the Spawn of Satan that live across the way because if we're being honest, someone has to be.  For as long as I've known these kids (and one I've known since before he was born), they've had entirely too much freedom from what little I can see.  Now, that's a legitimate question - how would I know if I see so little?   Some is knee-jerk judgment, but some is from the wisdom of knowledge.  I was one of those kids. 

I don't know if that's the reason I've been doing these drives for the last two decades, that I'm trying to give a kid the Christmas they need to make up for a bad year that's coming or going - or if it's atoning for my own sins committed throughout the year.  All I know is that somewhere in my dark past, if I lacked in many other things that make up a happy childhood, I had Christmases.  There has never been a year in my life that I didn't have a gift wrapped in pretty papers and ribbons and bows.  The holiday isn't about the material things - anyone could pick me a daisy and I'm ecstatic - it's the thought that comes with it.  In every Christmas tree, and I have had some lonely moments gazing into the lights nestled in those needles, there has always been someone out there thinking of me. 

That's what is my reason for the season.  Trying to give every kid the bigger gift of "someone out there is thinking of you." 

I, however, can't do this alone.  So, each year I rally my friends together and those who can help do.  I am a most fortunate person to have so many generous people in this long life of mine.  It's my 20th year of doing these drives.  Some have been spectacular, some more low key - from splashy parties to arranging for a small drop off site.  Here's my grown-up Christmas wish; that this one we reach for the sky. 

It's been a long, hard year of heavy loss, and wondering what reasons there were for going forward.  For waking up each day.  Wondering if I would be here to see this winter.  Still unsure of whether I'll see the next.  This is my itty bitty teeny tiny way of hanging hopeful ornaments on another tree.  Maybe it could be for you too. 

Please consider attending this event.  Let's give the kids a holiday that they need.  There will be great food, a fun raffle, the chance to meet new people, and an opportunity to help our Marines further their cause.  They can't do it alone either.  The opportunity to thank them in person for their service is worth a million dollars.

Advance ticket purchase is required (check/mail, credit/debit, or PayPal) - bring your family and friends!  ALL profits go to the Toys For Tots foundation.  Come see the holiday festivities in downtown Walnut Creek.  There will be free valet parking.  It has epic potential to be your feel-good deed for the year. 

If you can't attend, but can donate monetarily to the foundation, or can provide merchandise/gift certificates to be included in our awesome prize line-up, please get in touch!

Contact; Kymberlie Ingalls  (925) 324-5106 or

Thank you to the following donors and sponsors;

P.F. Chang's, Walnut Creek
The Cheesecake Factory, Walnut Creek

Arlene Miller     
Arletta Dawdy
Crissi Langwell
Juanita Martin
Linda C. McCabe
Lucille Bellucci
Marian Lindner
Marisa Samuels
Roy Mash

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