Every year Bob Parks Realty, LLC of middle Tennessee hosts "Christmas for the Children." Children identified by school counselors as needing some extra attention during the holidays are invited because otherwise many would not have Christmas at all. The Smyrna office has been unable to meet its fundraising goal in 2006, so Christmas may be cancelled. As a result, bloggers throughout the world are stepping up to help. Read all about it here and how you can help.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! There are a lot of people who lined up to give us a hand before the actual shopping day today and your hard work is greatly appreciated. But this one is for those who helped out today! We shopped for the eight children my office gave me to buy for and then wrapped all the presents.

My sweet 16-year old and sweet 11-year old. You girls did a great job!
Cheyanne and her Mom and brother. I love you!
Bad Bad Ivy who bought for two girls, ages 2 and 3. The presents are perfect!
Jillian and Brittney, two friends from girl scouts. Yay you!

All of the above, plus the divine M. and her three awesome kiddos! The boy was marvelous in making sure every gift had a ribbon on it! And your girls CAN TOO wrap! haha!

Thanks to all of you. I'm sore today from my fall and would have been miserable without all your generous time and help!
wrapped by Kathy T. at 5:14 PM | 0 Gifts under the tree
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Just one day before Thanksgiving, I'm writing about Christmas! We have received approximatley 100 names of children in Smyrna and LaVergne who are benefiting from our "Skate for the Children" and other fundraising efforts throughout the year to support the "Christmas for the Children" program.

I have picked up my family list - EIGHT children to buy for. We usually don't open it up for people other than agents to buy the gifts, but because the blogging community was so helpful I would like to invite your help. I plan to go shopping for the children on Sunday, December 3rd at KMart on Murfreesboro Rd. in Smyrna at 1:30 p.m. If you would like to help, please let me know.

If enough people are interested in helping, I may be able to get more names so you'll need to let me know if you want to be involved in this. After we buy the presents, we'll go back to my office and wrap them. Each child will get one complete outfit plus a toy. KMart is giving us a 10% discount and we are tax-exempt, so the children should be able to have a nice Christmas.

The kids I have so far:
FIVE GIRLS: Ages 12, 6, 13, 3, 2
THREE BOYS: Ages 11, 8, 9months

I will call their Mom before December 3rd to get their sizes and to hear what the kids need and/or want for a gift.

wrapped by Kathy T. at 9:07 AM | 0 Gifts under the tree
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It is with great pleasure that I announce my office will again be able to host "Christmas for the Children" this year. The word came down today from our corporate office in Murfreesboro that they are sharing funds to help some of the least fortunate children in LaVergne and Smyrna. We usually host a party for up to 220 children. We are not able to have a party this year, but we will be buying gifts for about 150 children.

School counselors should watch for a fax to come in the next day or two. We will ask the teachers to give us a handful of names. Although the number of children we're asking for will be less, those kids typically have brothers and sisters at home who we also buy for. Each child will receive a new full change of clothing (including coats, socks, gloves, etc.) and one toy.

We plan to hold a little reception here at the office for parents to come and pick up the gifts. We'll be serving hot chocolate and cookies for those who can come. If they can't make it, agents from the office will deliver the gifts to their homes. The date will be announced at a later time.

So I want to take the time to thank some very special people in our communities who have helped these past few weeks. You have generous hearts and I we really appreciate you.

BUSINESSES donating funds, products or facilities
Smyrna Skate Center
Smyrna Printing & Design (1 N. Lowry St., 459-2223)
Ernie Dunbar of Allstate
Smyrna, LaVergne, Murfreesboro & Nashville City Guides
Daily News Journal (thanks for the write-up)
Christy Shivers of Pampered Chef
Arbonne lady (I'll post her name and contact info later when I find her business card!)

BUSINESSES donating to silent auction
Meal for 8 people donated by Mothership Barbeque
Bowling Parties (2 parties for 6 people) donated by Smyrna Bowling Center
Beautiful beaded jewelry (necklaces and earrings) donated by Jennifer of Glen & Jen's Blog
Gift certificate donated by Hickory Falls Restaurant
Gift certificate to Legends Steakhouse donated by Realtor Lory Breckler
Gift certificate donated by Dan Good Ribs & BBQ
One pound gourmet coffee donated by Starbucks
Gift certificate for $10 vase of flowers donated by Tom's Flowers
Gift certificate for $25 in fine jewelry donated by Sue's Custom Jewelry (link to world renowned Sci-Fi author Andre Norton article - Sue was Ms. Norton's caretaker)
Music CD's by Realtor, Blogger, and Musician Doug Atkin called "An Offering of Musical Praise" and "My Christmas Song for You"

INDIVIDUALS donating by blogging or monetary
Les Jones
Chris of CeeElCee
Jen of GlenJenBlog
Ivy's Mom
Anonymous from McMinnville
Drama Llama
Tennessee Redneck in King Harald's Court
This is Smyrna
Cool People Care
Big Orange Michael
Chip Manor
Nashville is Talking
Kat Coble

AGENTS in my office who attended Skate for the Children
Kathy Tyson (me!)
Rhonda Umphrey
Gene Williams
Doug "Dugger" Krupla
Doug Atkin

Okay, who am I forgetting? Please don't be shy. I want to recognize everyone who helped!

wrapped by Kathy T. at 9:34 AM | 0 Gifts under the tree
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I want to thank Tim from Norway for his amazing design of this Christmas Challenge web page. Although he's thousands and thousands of miles from middle Tennessee, it's clear he still feels compassion and love for this community. Tim is moving on to another project for his wife, but we don't want him to go without first extending ur warm gratitude for his work with us.

Tim, thank you for the design. Thank you for the palm tree. Thank you for your generous spirit. We'll look forward to your visits and if you ever want to come back as an administrator to this site, you have but to ask because the door is always open. Thank you for taking the time to care.

Now go look at the pictures of the amazing place he now calls home.
wrapped by Kathy T. at 11:23 AM | 1 Gifts under the tree
Saturday, October 28, 2006
You can still help raise money by ordering any Pampered Chef products through Sunday.

Go to this link to order: http://www.pamperedchef.biz/christyshivers

ZSN4 is the password. Thank you!
wrapped by Kathy T. at 9:25 PM | 0 Gifts under the tree
Friday, October 27, 2006
The "Skate for the Children" event last night at the Smyrna Skate Center was fantastic! We had a good turnout, a little low because of the heavy rain but good nonetheless. The silent auction was completed, the lady from Arbonne was wonderful, and the Pampered Chef room was fun too! I will be posting a link later if you're interested in ordering Pampered Chef as that representative has agreed to keep the sale open until Sunday and you can order online!

We raised $230 last night!!! In all, I'd say this blog and the blogging community have brought about $600-700 to this great cause. Obviously we still have a long way to go, but I want to extend my thanks to each of you for everything you've done.

Mark told about one lady we talked with last night, and I want to also share it. One of the people skating came in to the silent auction room and was able to buy a couple of the items. When she paid, she gave us an extra donation and said, "I was in a really bad place last year, and because of Christmas for the Children, my kids had Christmas." She went on to say that she was proud to be able to help this year now that she's back on stable financial ground. That, my friends, is what it's all about.

Thank you.
wrapped by Kathy T. at 8:54 AM | 2 Gifts under the tree
Thursday, October 26, 2006
We've nearly made it to the halfway point this year. I talked with our office manager this week and because we may not be able to raise enough money for 200+ children this year, we may just identify the neediest of the needy and try to help them. Maybe adopt a couple of families...

However, there's still time! Again, we invite our blog readers to "pass the hat" around their offices to try to raise some money. Even if you can't do that, just come out to the Smyrna Skate Center tonight between 6:30 and 9:00 p.m. Half of your admission ($2.00) goes to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Tonight we will complete the silent auction which features items including Dinner for 8 at Mothership BBQ in Berry Hill, Starbucks gourmet coffee, and much more! In addition, we'll have some representatives from Pampered Chef and Arbonne who are setting up shop. If you purchase anything tonight (and up to Sunday for Pampered Chef), proceeds will be donated to the Christmas fund.

So come on out to the Smyrna Skate Center tonight! Good times, good friends, great fun!
wrapped by Kathy T. at 10:53 AM | 0 Gifts under the tree