Mitzie is my name. Never mind the last name; just call me Mitzie, and Mitzie only.
I am a disabled woman in my fifties. Multiple sclerosis that forced me to leave my job because it got bad; living on less than $1,000 a month (SSDI; just got approved for it after five years' worth of fighting). I live in government housing; I live with other disabled residents or people who have kids. It's not the greatest place in the world, but for me, it'll do: it's my home, and I'm grateful.
I don't have insurance, so I try to keep well; it's hard, though, when you have a disease like mine. You never know what it is going to do. One day, I'm (fairly) okay; on others, it's all I can do to keep from getting out of bed, or I have such a hard time getting around. Or my vision is affected, and I can't see boo to do anything, so I just stay inside.
I often have to do without; my medications (and my bills -- utility, phone, etc. --) take up the majority of my SSDI check each month. I'm lucky if I have $50.00 to my name; that's what I live on until the next check comes, and it starts all over again. It's very frustrating, especially during this time of year.
I often get depressed because I don't have the money to shop for my daughter or my grandkids; they don't understand what I have to do in order to survive. Any money I do get I have to scrimp and save in order to pay for my meds or my bills. I also have to get groceries, and that takes a big chunk of change as well.
I don't drive, so I don't have to worry about gas: my next door neighbor drives me to my doctor's appointments, to the store, or wherever else I need to go; she's very good at that sort of thing. She's deaf, but she works part time. On the days she doesn't work, she's runnin' me 'round town. I offer to pay her gas money; she says don't worry about it.
One less worry off my mind. Gas sure has gotten expensive! It's beyond ridiculous!!
I am not trying to bog you down with my personal affairs; I'm just telling you how it is for me. Yet, even with all my financial and physical struggles, I am very blessed. People watch out for me. They make sure I have what I need to get by every month. I get food at a local food bank (free!), and there's a place where I can get free clothing, personal needs, or shoes, or at very little cost, if I do pay. It's been a godsend.
I go to a church here in town, and more than once, people have given me money; they say they felt led by the Lord to brighten my day. It works each and every time. I never realized just how many people care for those who don't have it as good as they do.
I also have my neighbor who helps me by driving me 'round town, as I mentioned earlier. I just wish I could do more for her, but this darn MS prevents it a lot of the time, which only makes me end up feeling frustrated.
I am not the only one who benefits from the seeds of compassion or generosity: believe me, I've heard plenty of stories of other people who get unexpected help from others.
There's this family at my church who has adopted a bunch of kids who are disabled: kids of all ages, colors, nationalities. I know they struggle, because the father is disabled too, and he works at Wal*Mart, which doesn't really pay a lot. The mother is a nurse; she works as many as 80 hours (or more) per week, just so she can pay for her family's needs; yet they do it without complaining. The kids are their life, and they would bend over backwards, to make sure the children have what they need before they think of themselves.
There's another lady and her husband (Kendra and Michael Kent) who have done the same thing; like the Sanduskys, they often go without. Both families, however, rely on the strength of the Lord, and they are always thinking of others before themselves. They are more than willing to help others, even when they could use a lot of help themselves.
It's really amazing to see these families. They truly live the spirit of Christ, not only during holidays like Christmas, but every day of the year. I get blessed just by knowing them or watching them in action.
Another man collects toys as part of the Toys For Tots toy drive; he was in the Marines, and every Christmas season, he is out there, collecting donated toys so needy kids can have a merrier Christmas. He takes his job very seriously. He's also one who is struggling: the man and his wife have ten children. Both work, but it seems that there's never enough left over once the bills or the kids' needs are taken care of.
A teenaged girl collects cans to raise money for her severely disabled mother, who is in a nursing home. She also holds car washes or bake sales to further her cause. Her mother was hit by a drunk driver and is now paralyzed and brain damaged. The girl is left to take care of her three younger brothers, and her daddy works two jobs. The family came from Mexico only a few years back, so their English skills are quite limited at best.
The senior pastor at our church has started an "Adopt-A-Veteran" program at our church. A family can choose a Veteran (of any conflict) to mentor or support in any way possible, so the Veteran can have it just a little bit easier, plus know that there are people who truly care for them and their welfare. Every Christmas and Thanksgiving (plus during Veteran's Day or Memorial Day), the church feeds Veterans, so they don't go hungry.
A group of senior ladies spend their weekends entertaining folks in nursing homes or assisted-living centers as part of a dance troupe. The youngest member is 59; the oldest member is 92! They have a ball doing it, and their act is always well received.
A young boy with progressive muscular dystrophy acts as a sign language interpreter for deaf and mute people, even though his own physical health has declined. Every service he's there, doing his duty; people are moved to tears just by seeing him. (The boy cannot walk, and he breathes with a respirator.)
A young girl roughly the same age as the boy spends her days singing for people. God's gifted her with a beautiful singing voice; she takes the message of Christ in song, and people are always blessed whenever they hear her. She is disabled, too: she walks with two canes. (She's the boy's sister.)
Another boy (aged ten) sings and ministers in song even though he is blind. Like the girl above, he goes around town, singing for people; God's given him a beautiful singing voice as well.
A group of men work with troubled youth in our city by acting as "surrogate fathers or big brothers", just so the kids can have someone to talk to or hang out with. These guys get a kick of spending time with "their kids"; they love them as though they were their own children.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of "Christmas angels" who bless people by showing them the love of Christ, not just during Christmas, but every day of the year. I just wish I could tell these people how much they are appreciated, and because of their good deeds, they are being noticed, even if the media doesn't know about it. God certainly is going to reward them handsomely when they get to Heaven, that is for darn sure!!
You know that song, the one that has the line, "goodwill towards men"? Well, these people are living proof of that. It is nice to know that there are truly good people in this world; I know I have been touched by them, more than once.
May God bless them now, during the Christmas season, and always!!