‘There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew: ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!’
This excerpt, spoken by Scrooges’s nephew Fred in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, reminds us that we take so much for granted. If you’re reading this, at minimum, you have a computer (or smart phone, iPad, etc.) and sufficient money to maintain an Internet connection. But every one in awhile, an opportunity to do a bit of good, to make this world a better place, comes along. Here’s one from Red Book, via Legal Insurrection:
Red Book Magazine writes:
This year, as we proudly hang our seasonal greeting cards, displaying the smiling faces of our loved ones (and yes, sometimes their dogs), it’s easy to forget that for many people, the holidays aren’t all candy canes and carols.
For eight-year-old Safyre, the sole survivor of an arson attack that killed her family, and left her homeless, Christmas can be a painful reminder of what she’s lost.
In 2013, her father, younger sister, and brothers, were murdered in a senseless act. When firefighters found Safyre in what was left of her New York home, she was clutching her father’s chest, who saved her life, but couldn’t protect her from all of the flames.
Although the majority of her body is covered in burns, and she’s undergone over 50 surgeries, including a hand and foot amputation, Safyre, who is being raised by her dad’s sister, is still a joyful child, who has remained strong through the devastation.
‘Safyre is a typical 8-year-old—she’s just wrapped in a different package,’ her aunt, Liz Dolder says. ‘She is the bravest, most courageous little girl you will ever meet. She is funny and witty, sweet and caring, and super strong…She is truly amazing. Once you meet her, she is unforgettable.
I’ve never met her, and she’s already unforgettable.
Now her community is rallying around the brave little girl to ask for folks across the world to send her Christmas cards to ensure that this year gets a little bit cheerier for Safyre who has already been through so much.
‘Safyre lost everything—her father, her mother, her sister, her brothers, her home, her favorite toy, her favorite outfit — everything that was familiar to her,’ Liz shared. ‘She even lost the one thing we all take for granted—her reflection. But she wakes every morning with a smile on her face. She is the true definition of hope, faith and love.’
If you’d like to send a card to Safyre, the mailing address is here:
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306
A small gesture can make this a Christmas Safyre will never forget.
We listen to feckless politicians proclaim themselves courageous for doing things everyone they know agrees with. The self-imagined elite proclaim people like the former Bruce Jenner courageous. College protestors think themselves courageous for behaving like spoiled twerps. Look up “courage” in the dictionary, and Safyre’s photo should be there.
Here’s your chance, gentle readers, to spread a little joy and altruism, and perhaps, to help us all to freely open our shut-up hearts.