Pass It Forward: Giving Back

Friday 20 December 2013


I can't believe it's nearly the end of 2013. I felt that this year has flown past. I bet you've heard this uttered by many. Life is never dull, that's for sure. As someone wise once said, you don't know happiness unless you've experienced sadness. So true. I'm very much aware that while I may not be considered wealthy in monetary terms, I am rich in many ways. My faith, family and health. In that order. Only my family would put up with my transformation into a grizzly bear every morning before copious amount of caffeine. I also need to go into my she-cave every now and then or else, I'll revert back into the feral mammal. Not a pretty sight.

What once was a journal to keep in touch with my family and friends back home has turned into a micro community of bloggers and readers. Last year, I started a Secret Santa tradition as a way of giving back to the community in Hampshire. Since I'm fairly anonymous/unknown entity in this region, I feel comfortable sharing the information here. Part of the proceeds earned from this blog and my consignment business goes to fund the Secret Santa project in December (and Tear Fund for the rest of the year). So thank you to all of you who'd clicked on the links, purchased items via this blog, sent your bags in to be consigned (you know who you are), all I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I dedicate this post to all of you.


There are 11 kids along with their mothers who have escaped abusive relationships to live in a secret and secure location. Many only brought what they could carry. Thanks to all of you, these kids will have presents this Christmas (donations and funding only cover the basics). I can only imagine how awful it must be for the kids to hear their friends discussing about the piles of Christmas presents they're getting and knowing they will have none.

Lil L and I raced over to a toy shop clutching a list given by the Women's Refuge and with the help of a shop assistant, we bought everything we needed and then carted/dragged everything home. Please avert your eyes from the hastily wrapped presents (can't do anything arty farty to save my life). Lil L was the perfect Santa helper.  The next morning, my friend, Tara came around and together we drove over to the house. Thank goodness, she's marvelous with directions. These presents will be given to the children's mothers who, will at least have the dignity of being able to hand over gifts to their kids this year.

The rest of the funds will be given anonymously to an individual who has experienced immense hardship. All this would not have been possible without your help. Hopefully next year, we'll be able to reach out to more.


  1. thank you for this post. thank you for being such a generous, kind person.

  2. That's lovely, that's the true spirit of Christmas.

  3. You have such a generous soul. I teared up thinking about the mums giving presents to their children when they thought they might not be able to.

  4. Marlene, that is wonderful. I know you don't do it for the recognition, but it is people like you who do little things that add up to make a big thank you :) Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  5. Nancy, Tabitha, Sue & Alissa, I am touched by your comments. Thank you. I hope you'll have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. Marlene this is absolutely brilliant! You are such a thoughtful and generous person and an absolute role model for Lil L. It's beautiful to know that you have absolutely made a difference to people's lives this Christmas. May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays. You definitely deserve it.

    x Mandi

  7. This is truly such a wonderfully kind gift that you could give to these mothers and children; there's nothing better than giving to those less fortunate during the festive season - you're so thoughtful! I hope that the festive season is filled with happiness and good fortune for you, there's no one more deserving than you! :)

  8. HI! This is SO good, so inspiring!!
    S in HK

  9. Michelle, Mandi, Hollie, Jamie-Lee & S - thank you xxxx

  10. Marlene, you are amazing! This is such a generous gesture! Thank you for such a wonderful blog and for being such a beautiful, inspiring and warm-hearted person as you are!

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