So this was not the first blog on my take away from 2020. I started a rather depressing one a couple of days ago. It was more a year in review on a year, I think we would mostly agree to forget all about 2020! When I read the words I had written I knew I had to change my perspective. I started to think of how affected the community was by 2020. Then I shifted my focus to a recap of how we have tried to help other small businesses in our Community. Bella Sol has been involved in the community since opening in the fall of 2019. So today I want to share some of the amazing things that Bella Sol has accomplished during 2020.
January and February all of Michigan is still a buzz about recreational use being rolled out. The ending of an Era was nearing and we were excited to see what this new year was going to bring us. No one would have imagined it was going to be a virus that was going to affect everyone’s daily living.
We just had our Grand Opening for recreational use in March of 2020, where we donated $500.00 to the Parks and Recreational Dept. for a snowman decoration. That snowman is up in Hackley Park today if you would like to go see it. We donated all of our raffle donations to the V.F.W. after their fundraiser was postponed due to the virus.
In April going into May, we held another all proceeds raffle for the pound buddies animal shelter.
In September we hosted a celebration on the go-themed 1-year anniversary party. Something to involve as much as our community as we could. What I mean by that is there was a lot of thinking outside the box. We wanted to help businesses that were affected by the stay at home orders and occupancy limitations. We purchased community cash from our local Chamber of Commerce. These vouchers are good to use at local businesses. We went into the community to small businesses, not on the list and made a small business card ring for our patients to bring them support as well. We had gift certificates for some businesses. We also had given out free taco tickets for a local Taco Truck, Isabella’s Tacos are amazing if you have not tried them yet. Hurry before he closes for the winter. We also decided to adopt a family in need through our local United Way. The best way we can raise extra money is to hold all proceeds raffles so that’s our go-to to help out in our community. This raffle would be the biggest we have raised. It came in just as this homeless single father of 3 was about to give up. Tara and I added a little extra love to his donations and got the kids each a gift. The joy of helping someone is priceless. “It is better to give than to receive”. We also donated 10% of the day’s sales on 09/11/2020 to the Climb the Stairs fundraiser in Grand Rapids.
In October, you guessed it another all proceeds raffle this time for a young man in our community. He was out of state working to help provide for his family when he was in a fatal motorcycle accident on his way home. We raised hell for pro!
In November and throughout December we adopted a family through our local United Way again. This time for the holidays. We wanted to provide both holiday meals and gifts. But what we didn’t know is what that family would give to us. We had advertised and given discounts out to earn enough for a family with 5 kids. This time we had no raffle and felt maybe we didn’t have enough money to buy for Christmas. Tara and I were looking a bit discouraged in December when we were getting ready to go shopping. We didn’t feel we had enough, as we went shopping being mindful of every penny. We loaded our carts feeling a bit better changing our perspective to at least there will be presents under their tree.
Then Tuesday happened its the day we take the family their gifts with their Christmas dinner. Tara and I are about to be absolutely on cloud 9 and we don’t even know it yet. We think we are the ones bringing cheer. We couldn’t have been more wrong. We get there and the oldest child has been waiting for us to arrive. He is excited as he gets to hide the presents from the younger siblings. We tell him we have some food for the holiday dinner in some of those bags. We want him to be able to put these items away. This sweet boy looks at us in complete sincerity and says thank you so much we just ran out of everything to eat today. Tara and my hearts swell as we look at each other and know we are going grocery shopping now. We told the young man we were going back to the shop to figure something out for him. We decided we were put there at the right time to help this family. We head down and split a 100.00 food bill right down the middle. When I previously said, “It is better to give than to receive”, I really thought I already knew that. I did not until the moment we showed back up and gave these kids their groceries.
That’s when the appreciation of a child’s face for something we take for granted every day taught me a lesson. It taught me that through this year there were many tribulations to get through. But in that perfect beautiful moment, everything in our corner of the world was blissful. Through compassion and community, we had made a difference if only for a moment in time.
Love intentionally, Be kind always, Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Cheers to another year!