Beautiful lights twinkling on the tree, mistletoe in the doorway, the smell of Gingerbread cookies coming from the kitchen, the fire crackling below the stockings on the mantle, ready to be filled with goodies… this is the picture perfect image of how most of us spend our Christmas holiday. With these sweet serenities that we often take for granted laid out in front of us so naturally each December, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is this fortunate during the holidays.
I always try to keep this in mind during the so-called “most wonderful time of the year,” and luckily, I have cheerleaders to remind me almost every day. I receive inspiring stories throughout the year of all the good-doings cheerleaders are performing in their communities, and I have to say, the month of December is when I get the best stories. Every year, I’m amazed that cheerleaders of all ages catch the Christmas spirit, turn into little “cheer angels,” and start granting wishes!
This past weekend is the perfect example, and I have been so excited to share this touching story. If you’re not in the Christmas spirit yet, after hearing this, you will be!
American Cheer Power held their annual Christmas Open Championship in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, and snow wasn’t the only blessing that poured down at the competition. Keeping in mind the underprivileged, the Cheer Power staff held a toy drive, encouraging all teams to bring unwrapped gifts to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.
If I’ve learned anything from the cheer world, I’ve learned that you don’t have to ask cheerleaders twice to help others… their hearts are huge! That was proven this weekend when three vans were filled to the top with toys and $2,700 was raised for the needy!
According to President of American Cheer Power, Regina Symons, when the Ronald McDonald House picked up the toys at the end of the competition, they were completely speechless at the amount donated. She said, “This Ronald McDonald House is the second largest in the country, and they said it was the biggest donation they had ever had!”
The best part about American Cheer Power’s contribution? They’re not even finished yet! This coming weekend, they’re holding competitions in Houston and San Antonio with plans for two more toy drives. All donations will be given to the Texas Foster Family Association.
I look at what these cheerleaders have done, and it inspires me to be more philanthropic throughout the holiday season. There are children out there who don’t have a tree to decorate, a fire to nestle up to or Gingerbread cookies to eat. Thank you to the cheerleaders out there who bring the magic of Christmas to these children, and show that America Needs Cheerleaders during all times of the year!
– Andrea LeTard