I would Just like to start by saying, all the people that have helped Santa gain in the last week since the Santa challenge started , Thank you so much , I owe you a great deal of praise for all of your efforts. As I write this we are looking at just 600 followers remain in order to win the Santa Challenge. A HUGE thank you and all of my respect goes out to @bowmovers who had approached me with this idea for charity. As I had stated previously, it does not matter who wins, the best part is we are all talking about helping charities and bringing more awareness to the social issues that we all face.
I am pleased to announce that the BBQ for Mental Health and disabilities was a great success. Through peoples generous donations we were able to provide 1 gift for each and every one that attended. That was the whole goal; make sure that all clients leave the BBQ feeling like a winner. I do realize that some of you would have liked to help and donate, but I would not have felt right taking more gifts than we would have needed plus you did help by spreading the word and supporting Santa along the way.
One area I wanted to touch on this week was in regards to a comment made by a couple of people on Twitter that @ FVsecretsanta and the contest were a scam and just a ploy to gain more followers. I found these comments to be uncalled for and offensive. As @FVSecretSanta I have put my name on many different causes and charities over the past 7 years (see my previous Santa Blogs and so many that I do not publish) I would never use this social media forum for anything but spreading a positive message and to try and encourage the fair and equal treatment of every member of our communities though some would . I know there may be some people that have some doubts as to what I do and why I do it, please I wish you could come and spend a day with me when I am out on a fundraising mission. The feeling that you get when you can help a person in need or when watching the confidence in someone grow when they have none is such an amazing feeling. Most of the people that I work with and work for receive a living allowance of under $100.00 per month. Hand them a movie ticket that costs $12.00 and see the reaction, take them to a football or baseball game that tickets cost $40.00 and see the smile that is created and you will know the feeling I get when I am able to secure these kinds of items through generous donations. Yes all of these items may general items for you and me and may cost money, but these people can’t afford them. The ability to give the less fortunate 3 hours or even 5 minutes to feel like they are a normal member of society is absolutely PRICELESS . If you know someone with a Disability or see a person with a Mental Health issue just remember it is not their fault , they did not ask to be stigmatized, they did not ask to be treated as less than human. If you ask anyone with a disability all they ever want is to be treated just like everyone else, be afforded the same opportunities, to be thought of as productive member of society.
So to the people that expressed they thought that @FVSecretSanta only wants to get as many people as I can on twitter, I don’t need a million followers to continue doing what I do, I was FVSecretSanta before twitter, I will be FVSecretSanta after twitter and I strongly think that an apology to all the charities that I have helped should be made. I found the comments disrespectful not only to me but to all the good people out there trying to make a difference and be a voice for those who are unable to be heard without asking for anything in return.
Be kind to everyone you meet and if you see someone in the community that has a disability say HI , tell them they are important and tell them “Thank You for being you”.