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Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome...

11:11:00 PM

Christmas Warriors... and a Glossary (sort of)

Have you signed up to be a Christmas Warrior yet?  It is already October and in 30 days the 2010 Christmas Angel Tree begins! We've been busy with Buddy Walks and lots of things behind the scenes preparing for the launch of this year's Angel Tree, which promises to be the biggest one yet!

So, in light of this, I thought I would put together a glossary, if you will, to help you in your Christmas Warrior efforts. This list promises to either:
a) help you
b) confuse you
c) give you a headache
d) if you're British, as I am, you will be polite and say a) even though you mean b & c ;)

Ok, here you go...

Angel Tree(AT): The Angel Tree is the largest appeal Reece's Rainbow has during the year. It runs from 1 November through 31 December and features the children from Reece's Rainbow with Down Syndrome 5 years of age and under. The goal is to raise £1000 per child on the Angel Tree and find Forever Families for them. It is also the time that Andrea and all the Angel Tree volunteers seemingly go into hiding. There is much to do behind the scenes that one can only hope shows when we emerge from the 'Angel Tree Preparation Cave' on 1 November. Be warned... we likely haven't brushed our hair or teeth for awhile...or slept.

Christmas Warrior(CW): Christmas Warrior is an extension of the Prayer Warrior Programme which runs during the Christmas Angel Tree when people rush in droves to sign up to advocate for one of the waiting angels. The goal is to raise $1000 for your chosen child and hopefully a family. This is not a legally binding contract... unless you have a rich uncle willing to settle all of your debts. The CW grab buttons will be made available at the end of October and will be linked to the Christmas Angel Tree Waiting Angels though you can start to fundraise any time to hopefully reach the $1000 goal per child. Which brings me to the next item...

Fundraising: Shameless and sometimes absolutely ridiculous attempts to raise money for your chosen CW child. Some such ideas for fundraising include but are not limited to the following:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Blog
  • Church Event: well, they should have access to what the Bible says about caring for orphans
  • Begging from family and friends: this really only works if you are not already a family in adoptive process since you've begged/borrowed/or stolen from everyone in your family or friends already...
  • School Events: When you enlist your children to hit up the shy kids up for their lunch money. You can 'pretty up' what you call it but it is what it is...
  • Spaghetti Dinner: Andrea told me about this. Apparently in the US people sell plates of spaghetti and (jarred) sauce in an attempt to raise funds for charity. Firstly, we don't do this in England. Spaghetti is a form of pasta and doesn't include sauce. We call that meal 'spagh bol' or spaghetti bolognese. Apparently these events are held in cold, damp church basements in order to get people to give their money, eat and leave early so you don't have to provide any entertainment. The church organist is usually on hand in the case the church heating is working that evening.
  • Raffles... erm I mean Give-Aways: This is an EXPENSIVE and FREE gift, usually beginning with the letter 'i', which people have to pay donate to be given a chance to be GIVEN this FREE GIFT, which is NOT a raffle. Raffles are illegal. No, no laws are broken. It is all just FREE stuff being GIVEN away to nice people who just happen to feel compelled by greed to donate towards your chosen child.
  • etsy/ebay/other site selling over priced items which are willing to donate roughly 80% 70% 50% 30% 20% of the profits toward your cause. These are typically for those who simply can not justify giving money only towards rescuing an orphan. It gives them something tangible to show for that item on their bank statment. These people generally either have not ever read the Bible, don't understand what the Bible says, or fear God will think they've 'over-tithed' that month in an attempt to 'suck up'. Again, the question of whether or not they've read the Bible comes to mind.
  • 5K Run: Andrea told me about this at roughly 1am my time. I'm fairly certain anyone willing to run a 5K race just to raise funds for charity is not me. I can barely muster the energy to walk to the loo during the Angel Tree 'prep'. I think there are some people in Britain that do NOT go to bed later than their friends in the US and their daughters are not living the 'NO LIE INS ALLOWED' lifestyle my daughter is. She awakens at the first hint of light sneaking from behind the 'room darkening' blinds. I'm currently building a wall to cover her windows in an attempt to get her to sleep later than 7am. My husband grew his hair to donate to the Princess Trust (the UK version of Locks of Love). When he told his brother about it, his brother thinking it similar to a race thought there had to be a quicker way to raise money. However, it wasn't a case of sponsoring so much per inch of hair, rather you get sponsors before you get the hair cut and send the money in with the clump of knotted and end split hair tied at one end with a hair tie. Not exactly quick or profitable.
  • So... I told Andrea about a British idea for fundraising... a Wellie Wang... you read
    that correctly and NO it is not a bad word! People donate to be a wally-also a
    British word
    participant. Then all the participants get in a queue and each one
    gives their best shot to throw their wellies (Wellington Boots - rain boots) the
    furthest. The winner is given a cheap trinket to show that they either had the
    strongest arm or the heaviest wellies. My nephew had one for his last birthday.
    Not sure if he made any money or how many people accidentally got hit in the
    head by flying wellies... but you are welcome to use this idea...
  • Concert: um... whatever. This is when you either know someone that can almost sing or are certain that you, yourself could win 'Britain's/America's/insert your country here's Got Talent'. We know one woman that actually DID go on that show. Not sure why I'm admitting this now. It has taken us two years to get over it. She has finally come out of hiding, as well, herself. BUT, you charge a fee to sit in someone's back garden on wobbly chairs whilst listening to your ipod previously mentioned person. Usually a hat is also passed around so you will donate yet more since everyone is watching and you don't want to be the one who appeared cheap or heartless for not giving all the money in your wallet. Most people who host these make a lot of money. Word of caution-unless you actually have someone with actual talent, you can lose a lot of said friends.
Angel Tree Button: This is the bloggy grab button that we all paste all over the internet beginning the end of October to alert the EARTH that 'the Angel Tree is NOW OPEN'. These are made by the same British woman who last year tweeted and facebooked and blogged (even joined an international prayer ministry and tweeted from their twitter account) 'grab a bauble for your blog' for 6 weeks before being alerted to the fact that in the US you simply call these 'ornaments'. I'm fairly certain I have been blocked on some people's twitter and facebook thinking I was offering something of 'ill repute'. This year there won't be any confusion. I'm not allowed to use my Oxford English Dictionary and have instead been forced asked to use a word from a book written by some chap named Webster. We know nothing of this 'Webster' chap. Apparently he got quite a few things mixed up when he wrote them in his book after landing on US soil (possibly caused by travel sickness). Things like 'jumper'. A word we use NOT to describe someone about to dive off a bridge in despair, but rather, a warm and possibly woolly item of clothing (you call them sweaters [which we would likely call people at the gym] and often embroider Santa or reindeer or ironically a 'bauble', on them). Nice to wear in winter...

Christmas Warrior button: This is the bloggy button specifically for your chosen CW child. These will also be plastered all over the internet and will be made available at the end of October, as well. They will be linked to the Waiting Angel Tree Children and yours will include a photo of your CW child. Many of these will also include what is called a 'chipin' for your former friends and family to donate using paypal. These are people you used to have some respect for until you met their 'Mr. Stingy' side. 

Chip in: Shows how many people have donated towards your child and the amount you've raised. Don't be fooled by the name... though the idea IS to get people to 'chip in' towards your child's $1000 goal, pulling teeth is met with less resistance than this. These are also meant to shame you into choosing some of the fundraising events listed above regardless of how undignified to either raise funds or donate to it yourself to rid it of the seemingly HUGE $0 on it.

Angel Tree Ornament: This is a beautifully crafted ornament with an inspirational piece of fine art designed by a famous well known never heard of British nutter artiste with the Angel Tree logo on one side and a photo sticker of the child you've donated to on the other. These are assembled and sent out by elves the Angel Tree team, working late into the night. These are only given to people who donate $35 or more towards the Angel Tree between 1 November and 15 December but donations towards your $1000 goal will be included until the 31st of December.  This is simply another way for us to confuse you. Those donors who also opt to include the paypal fee are written in a special book which we leave out for God to look through when he's deciding who gets in or not.

Twitter - Spacebook - MyFace... erm, I mean Facebook & MySpace: These are some of the most common 'social networking' sites. 'Social' Networking is the biggest con known to man. Somehow putting the word 'networking' after the truth 'social' helps you to convince your boss/spouse/mother that you are not simply dossing online. That what you are doing somehow now has the potential to increase profits/provide you gainful employment/keep you off drugs or from joining a gang and NOT just buying farm equipment or feed for your chickens, planning a night up the pub with your mates or telling jokes to your 394 'friends' or 'followers'. Followers are no longer the easily influenced members of a cult. They are now people 'sent by God' to help you grow your business/profits/teach you the secrets of the Bible/the phrase 'ill repute' can also be used here/gain more twitter followers or simply other people who know equally as nothing about just what twitter is as you...

1 January 2011: The day that Andrea and the Angel Tree Team can finally get to bed at (midday) a sensible hour. They will sleep until roughly the 7th of January when Andrea awakens them by yahoo IM to get them started on the next project... stay tuned to hear more about this!

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