The Gift of Giving

November 23, 2020

 
I learned about empathy and compassion at home and at school at a young age. As far back as I can remember, we had class field trips to orphanages where we spent time and cared for children, or fed the hungry on the streets. One facility that we frequented was Elsie Gaches Village. Located about three miles from our school in Manila, the facility is home to 600 special needs children and adults, many of whom were abandoned as infants because of abject poverty. Here, they are provided a nurturing environment and are taught to co-exist with other members of the society through educational programs and services. Residents and patients’ cases range from autism to mental retardation, visual and hearing impairment to severe epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
 
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take my kids back to the Philippines where we hosted a day event for the special needs orphans. My daughter Remi raised money that summer by selling baked goods. Seeing the happiness in the childrens’ eyes, and feeling their overwhelming gratitude was an emotional experience. Many of them cannot speak, but they waved and smiled to get our attention and be acknowledged which really tugged our hearts and lifted our spirits. Some grabbed our hands and placed them on their cheeks to show their appreciation. We invited the country’s most popular mascot to entertain  together with Stu and Remi, who rendered a few songs much to the delight of these incredibly special people. St. Francis of Assisi said that “it is in giving that we receive”, and indeed, we received bountiful gifts that day. We thought we were there to provide three hours of happiness, but instead, we received a humbling experience as we witnessed all the hope, gratitude and joy in these children’s hearts that would forever change us.
 
This year thanksgiving will be celebrated with the pandemic in mind, but as difficult as it may be for many of us, this could be the time to get re-acquainted with the often forgotten virtue of gratitude.  I am reminded to be thankful by an amazing woman I had the pleasure of knowing through her parents’ eyes, whose message resonated with me especially this holiday season..
 
“Be grateful for what you have, for it is so much more than many.”

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group Welcomes Jon Peeler to its Sales Agent Team

July 12, 2022

(GREENSBORO, GA) July 11, 2022 – Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group is pleased to announce the addition of Jon Peeler to its team as a licensed Associate Broker.

Fun Fourth Festivities at Reynolds

May 31, 2022

The Fourth of July boasts many traditions across the country. Whether it’s a backyard grill out with family and friends or packing a cooler, blanket, and lawn chairs. … Read more

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group Welcomes New Sales Agent Charlotte Hildreth to the Team

May 26, 2022

Hildreth began her career as a loan officer and transaction coordinator which provided great training and a wealth of experience in contracts, listings, loans, and all… Read more

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group Welcomes Sales Agent Betty Mchan as Its Newest Team Member

May 26, 2022

Jennifer Vaughan Appointed to Lake Oconee Academy Board of Governors

March 4, 2022

Realtor® with Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group, was unanimously appointed by a majority vote of the Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) Board of Governors to join the board.

Jennifer Vaughan, Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group Named as the Official Title Sponsors of the Georgia PGA Senior Division for the 2022 Season

Jennifer Vaughan  |  February 15, 2022

The Official Title Sponsors of the Georgia PGA Senior Division for 2022.

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group Celebrates Its Second Anniversary With Record Sales and Grand Opening of New Office

Ted Baker  |  January 17, 2022

A combined 40 years of experience in the real estate industry at Lake Oconee.

All-star Lake Oconee Chefs Share Their Favorite Comfort Foods

Riezl Baker  |  January 11, 2022

When you’ve had a bad day, or when it is gray and rainy outside, what is it that you crave for?

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Honored With 2021 Top Realtor® Awards by Modern Luxury Interiors Atlanta Magazine

November 12, 2021

Work With Us

We provide maximum value and client satisfaction through knowledgeable, local Realtors delivering the highest level of professional service to customers engaged in residential and commercial real estate transactions at Lake Oconee.