There's been a lot of buzz this holiday season about how Taylor Swift personally gave Christmas presents away to her fans. We saw the video she created to show how she made it happen, and couldn't believe how her approach was so similar to how HopeMatch makes a difference in families' lives in our community. Watch the video and then read on and see how much we have in common with Taylor Swift.
1. WE BOTH PERSONALIZE: Taylor Swift searched her fans social media to find out specific things they like, then bought them those things. She wanted to make sure what they received was special. At HopeMatch, we also go the extra mile to find out what our families need and want so that they can have a special, magical Christmas, and it makes all the difference. One of our families wrote to us after Christmas and said, "The presents were absolutely amazing. It's like you knew my family personally and each gift was thought about. I personally haven't received a Christmas gift since I was 13. To open the gifts along with my children was such a joyful experience."
2. WE WRAP THE GIFTS FOR THE SURPRISE ELEMENT: Taylor Swift personally wrapped the gifts she bought and boxed them up. At HopeMatch, we have special wrapping volunteers who make sure all the gifts are packaged and wrapped and ready to go under the tree. We do this so that the parents can be excited too, not knowing what they are getting! One of our families wrote this to us recently, "When the van came and the two young men came with the delivery, I felt like a big kid not knowing what the packages contained and extremely thankful." Another parent wrote, "Not only was Christmas exciting for my children, but on Christmas Eve I could barely sleep I was so excited about our Christmas. My excitement was escalated by the fact that we were all opening complete surprises."
3. WE INCLUDE A PERSONALIZED CARD: Taylor Swift wrote a long card to each of the fans she surprised with a box of Christmas presents. We imagine she thanked them for being them and told them how great they are. At HopeMatch, we have special Scribe volunteers that write personalized cards to each family speaking LIFE and HOPE into their situations. Many times, the families say these cards mean just as much, if not more to them than the gifts. One family wrote us and said, "Gratitude...that is the only word that comes to mind. We are so incredibly thankful for you and what you provided for our family for Christmas. More importantly what you said in the card...those are the words we cling to during this difficult season!"
4. "WE GIVE A CRAP": I think we can sum up what Taylor Swift and HopeMatch do with this one statement: We give a crap. This is a quote that one of our families said about us and I believe the same can be said about Taylor Swift. She doesn't have to stay in touch with her fans on a personal level. She didn't have to buy presents herself, wrap them herself and mail them herself. I'm sure she employs many people who could do that for her. But she did...and it meant a lot to her fans. At HopeMatch, I'm not sure if we can call our supporters and volunteers "fans," but they are people who could spend their time and money many ways, and they choose to serve and give through HopeMatch. We believe it is because they care. We could serve the poorest of the poor families, however we choose to make "fans" out of the overlooked and forgotten; the ones that won't ask for help for themselves because someone else is always in worse need than them. Those are our fans and we are humbled to served them. We received a card from a recent widow we served this past season and she summed up what means the most to her, "It's more than the gifts wrapped in paper; it's the gift of the spirit that changed my season and touched my heart."
Thank you to everyone who gave of their time, resources, and prayers this past season. We are so grateful for you, and so are our "fans." You can expect to hear about much more from HopeMatch this year as we serve the families we helped this past Christmas. We are excited about giving them a Hand Up, and not just a hand out. We are excited about helping to restore dignity and respect to their homes. We are committed to encouraging them to continuing fighting and hoping... and in return, we will most definitely become THEIR fans.
Video from YouTube.com, All Rights Reserved