Yes, there is more bad news. In a University of Michigan survey 76% of people said they were concerned about inflation. Numbers were released for November and inflation has reached a 38 year high of 6.8%. I really hope you have been taking advantage of the warning you have had and that you have been hedging inflation thru the purchase of food and non-food essentials. The price of beef has increased 21% since this time last year severely impacting Christmas and New Years Eve Dinners. Have you noticed a shortage of cream cheese? I hope you aren't planning on cheese cake for the holidays or that you have budgeted a little more for it. I am often asked what is causing all these price hikes and shortages. In some cases it is hard to know but cream cheese, we know. It was a cyber attack that caused the manufacture to close down. COVID, port slowdowns, drought, fires, crop failures, dependence on foreign oil, civil unrest and now cyber attacks. Does it feel like our country is about to implode? I have good news! No inflation is not going away, BUT...
There are still good people who love their country and who love their neighbors. Last year I began a project to make Christmas ornaments for those who had lost their homes due to fires in Oregon. I had a connection and knew the ornaments would get to those who needed an uplift. People often tell me after a disaster that they miss their ornaments.
This spring a friend in Kentucky called me to tell me about the flooding there and the devastation. The area was hit a second time and we decided we would once again gather homemade ornaments. Wow! We never imagined how successful the effort would be. We collected over 5800 homemade ornaments from 19 states. We put 12 ornaments in each family pack making 480 family packs. We had over 650 people make and send ornaments.
They have been delivered to 6 Kentucky counties and to Waverly, Tennessee. Waverly also experienced severe flooding and 22 people there lost their lives. We are so thankful we could also help them feel loved.
Many of the ornaments were made by residents of Kentucky but as you can see people in 18 other states showed their love by sending their creations. We all understand we can never replace the ornaments lost and those memories but it is our hope that each year as these new ones are placed on trees there will be new sweet memories of those who cared enough to remember and reach out to show love. Each ornament was individually packages with the location where it was made and in many cases a message of love and hope. We left the messages up to the individual giver.
There is so much more to the story. Just Serve from around the country posted the need and helped make and bag ornaments. Families, church groups, children who gathered friends, neighborhoods who gathered, even two adult birthday parties turned into ornament making parties. We had one very humbling group who made ornaments in memory of a friend who passed away and asked that no flowers be purchased for her funeral but instead her friends serve someone. They made ornaments in her honor.
We will continue to create and provide ornaments as we understand so much more now just how grateful those receiving them are. Please plan to join us in 2022. We will be challenging you to hold ornament parties throughout the year. We will be asking for your help as volunteers to identify needs and to co-ordinate local efforts. We will be collecting money to help with shipping and to purchase supplies for those who do not have the resources but would like to contribute ornaments. Please check out our Facebook page: Operation Christmas Ornaments From Near and Far and share with us the joy of giving. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1130528510770698
The photo is a sample of the ornaments distributed. These were distributed in Powell county Kentucky.