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Guest Blogger: Kimble Bosworth of Proforma Printelligence

Kimble Bosworth of Proforma Printelligence is a friend and her annual project could use some help. It’s down to the wire and shopping is done or close to it (though funding may still be sorely needed), but volunteering with food prep and the event itself would be greatly appreciated. If Junk Lady continues to get better from this cold/flu she will be there. Please give her story a read.

Christmas Spirit Needs Your Help

December 5, 2012 at 10:03am

In 2006, when Boz and I moved to Werthan Lofts, Germantown was new to us. I did not know anything about the public housing across the street – Cheatham Place. So, when I heard sirens there during our fist week in our new ‘hood, I called MDHA to find out what happened.

Turns out, their housing office administration was just across the street. A nice lady, Peaches Manning, offered to meet me and address my concerns in person.

She took me on a tour of Cheatham, introduced me to the on-site property manager and several members of the community association. She showed me the plaques announcing that Cheatham Place is on the National Historic Registry.

As we walked the grounds, I noticed that their landscaping was nicer than much of ours in the luxury, gated community across the road.

She waved at children as she explained there were currently 120 kids in residence and many more seniors. She also explained, “Honey, most of the sirens you hear around here will be ambulances. We don’t tolerate misbehaving and we have a waiting list to replace anyone who does.”

I learned a lot that day – about poverty, about judgment, about assumptions and prejudices. And I wanted to do something special for my new neighbors. So, when December came around and Peaches called to invite me to the Cheatham Christmas Party; I decided to bring gifts. Called all my Werthan neighbors and asked for donations. Gathered up about $1000 and headed out the day before the party to go shopping.

I had asked for help, but all my friends and neighbors bagged out at the last minute, so I was on my own for the shopping trip. Wasn’t exactly feeling ‘in the spirit. Had a lot to do, not much time and I don’t know a darn thing about toy shopping. But I grabbed a cart and borrowed a few boys and girls and parents at Big Lots to help me pick things out. The manager even went to the back of the store and pulled 50 radios from inventory and sold them to me at a discount for the kids.

So there I was, standing in line with two carts full of toys, holding up everyone behind me at the checkout line. A lady behind me asked, “So who are you anyway? Why you got all those toys.”

“I’m nobody.” I answered.

The manager, who had been helping me and had heard the story of why I was doing this chimed in and told the curoius shopper, “She’s buying all these toys for some kids in her neighborhood who may not get anything this year.”

“Well,” the lady said, “Then you ain’t nobody. You’re Santa Clause.”

That’s when I realized what Christmas spirit feels like. After all my years, I had literally never felt THAT.

Cheatham Christmas Gift Table

Cheatham Christmas Gift Table

And now, this is year 7 of gathering money and gifts for the kids of Cheatham Place. Every year, this act of giving fills me with that same spirit. You should try it. I really need your help!

  • Donate some money – we need at least $1000 to get each kid a nice gift. Contact me on facebook if you have something to give.
  • Donate an unwrapped gift for ages 2-17. The toughest ones to shop for the teens and tweens.
  • Since year 3, we have also provided the food. There are about 150 people to feed for the Christmas party where we distribute gifts and the community has very little money to get food and drinks. Donate money or Kroger Gift Cards. We tried restaurant food, but found that the favorite menu is right next to the community at the local Kroger. It takes about $500 to feed everyone.
  • Donate your time – I could use help on the shopping trip, as usual. Shopping day is THIS SATURDAY and starts at noon at Big Lots in Madison at Due West and Gallatin Rd.
  • Come to the Cheatham Place Christmas party – we need volunteers to bring presents, prepare food, serve food and hand out presents. The party is 5-9pm on the 17th. Get in touch for directions and details.

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