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barbk
12-09-2011, 05:41 AM
We normally do Angel Tree or similar gift opportunities at the holidays, but this year I'm aware of a family I know just a bit that is facing some real financial hardship. I'm thinking of getting a nice gift card from the local supermarket (which includes a gas station and pharmacy) and another from Target, and just sending them anonymously in a Christmas card from "Santa." Would this be too creepy? This isn't a family I know really well, but I've heard about some of the circumstances through the grapevine, and they're really tough.

Alternatively, they attend a church, and I could approach someone in the church office and ask that they be the intermediary, though I don't know anyone in that church office.

Any thoughts about which would be better?

milanessa
12-09-2011, 05:45 AM
I think it's a lovely thought and an anonymous gift card would be welcomed. I don't see creepy at all.

BigB08822
12-09-2011, 07:02 AM
I think it would be very nice. It would kill me personally because I am a very curious person so I would be dying to know who did it but I wouldn't think it was creepy. I would think it was very nice and probably would be overwhelmed at the gesture.

redonthehead
12-09-2011, 08:00 AM
I don't see a problem with it. "Secret Santas" can be so awesome and it allows you to do something for someone without making them feel embarrassed about their situation.

agalisgv
12-09-2011, 08:46 AM
I don't think it's creepy, but I would probably opt for using the church as an intermediary. Generally churches are good at giving such assistance in a way that doesn't make the person feel singled out at all, and it would be coming from a source the person trusts. Receiving it randomly could make the person wonder just how much do people know about their situation, and make the person feel bad or uncomfortable.

It really depends, but I always veer towards avoiding anything that could make a person feel bad about being in a tight spot.

Very nice gesture though :)

CynicElle
12-09-2011, 01:26 PM
I think sending the gift cards is a lovely idea.

Jenny
12-09-2011, 02:22 PM
Agree it's a very nice idea, especially if they find themselves in this situation for the first time. They might be embarrassed to accept charity if that's the case, so something anonymous with no strings attached is perfect, perhaps better than going through the church and putting community focus on their need.

If it's well known and ongoing (ie a sick child that everyone is worried about), then yes, going through the church is probably best.

DFJ
12-09-2011, 02:30 PM
I think it's a great idea. Isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about? Very thoughtful. :)

Pierre
12-09-2011, 02:35 PM
Sending a gift card in the mail sounds like a great idea! How sweet. :)

The church would work as well, but the downside to that is that you might be making their situation known to someone who doesn't know (since you don't know the church that well I take it you don't know one worker there from another) and privacy in these kinds of situations is always nice.

attyfan
12-09-2011, 02:36 PM
I think it's a great idea. Isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about? Very thoughtful. :)

ITA. Kudos to barbk.

Skittl1321
12-09-2011, 02:39 PM
I don't think I would send them anonymously. If you have an intermediary to go through (like a church) I would try to do that. You don't have to tell the church WHY you are giving them, just ask the person in the church office to hand them to them "from a secret santa".

If they arrived anonymously, I personally would be hesitant to use them, thinking it was some sort of scam. We live in a pretty guarded world.

This is very generous of you, so I'd hate for it to not be used to its fullest.

Matryeshka
12-09-2011, 04:34 PM
I'd send it anonymously. You don't know the people in the church, and while it's not true of churches, IME, some church workers are worse gossips than beauticians and cheerleaders combined. I don't think it would be mean spirited, but if the point is not to call attention to this family's hardships, the less people that know the better.

As for a scam, I think it's OK with gift cards. The store can tell them if the cards are legitimate or not.

If I were in those circumstances, I would prefer to get anonymously. You don't have to worry about feeling embarrassed or feeling beholden to that person. I got an anonymous gift card once. I'm pretty sure it was from someone on FSU too--it was right after Katrina. I had lots of people offer assistance, but I just didn't feel like I could take it considering I'd never met most of you. But that card I did get made my freaking year. It wasn't just the money, it was the thought behind it--someone cared enough to help and didn't expect anything in return, not even acknowledgment.

MikiAndoFan#1
12-09-2011, 04:39 PM
That would be a very nice gesture, barbk. :)

nubka
12-09-2011, 06:47 PM
I think it's a wonderful idea - go for it! You will definately brighten someone's holiday by doing this. :)

BigB08822
12-09-2011, 06:56 PM
I also don't think you should go through the Church. They may be embarrassed to have it hand delivered and may think those people know all of their business, even if they don't. If you send it anonymously then they don't have to have that awkward moment. Just send it in the mail and add a little note saying Santa heard it had been a tough year or something, that way they will know it is from someone who knows them and not a scam.