Monday, December 15, 2008

Joy of Giving

HP is giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars of computer equipment this Christmas. Some of the sites that has a giveaway going on now are Stop, Drop, and Blog, Living in Theory, and Geeks Room.

My husband and I are very blessed. We both have decent jobs (so far, at least), and we’re only in debt for the house and our single car. I'm lucky enough to be working in a community theatre, which touches the lives of patrons, volunteers, and students every day. Tim and I can afford to buy Christmas gifts, go out to eat, and take very good care of our eight rescue cats. We cannot afford to buy, or at least we can’t justify buying, a laptop computer. That’s the main reason that I am trying to win one of these HP Magic packages. Also the Media Connect would be really cool to have.

I would like to give one of the computers to my in-laws, who don’t have a computer at all. Maybe it would be the desktop or maybe the HP mini would be enough for them. I figure they will mainly use it for e-mail with their three children and only granddaughter, and perhaps they’ll occasionally check out a website. They have complained that companies, organizers and the news media just assume everyone has internet access and they can’t follow the links to get more information or fill out forms. I’ll give them the printer, too, so they can print photos that are e-mailed to them. It would be so nice to be able to e-mail them information about a recall, or a promising cancer treatment (FIL has cancer), or just to send photos. They live in a small town, sort of near their oldest son, but hours away from DH and his sister.

One of the computers I will donate to Pensacola Little Theatre. It’s a non-profit organization, and I happen to work there. The computers we have are decent, but they are slow and sometimes lock-up. A laptop computer could also be used to run sound effects for the traveling shows we take to schools and the productions we do in our black box theatre. It would give a lot more control to the sound operator than trying to hit the cues just right on a portable CD player.

The fourth computer in the package, I will give to a deserving young person. I will ask around at the theatre and contact friends who work at other non-profit organizations. I would like to find a young person who does well in school, is respectful and a contributing member of his or her community, someone whose family just doesn’t have the money to provide a home computer. Not only will the gift help that person, but it might show others that being a good person can lead to rewards “just because.”

When I was a child, Christmas was all about what I got. Now, I buy for myself most of what I want. I enjoy the pleasure of watching someone else receive something special. As I said, we’re doing okay financially, but I’m not really in a position to surprise total strangers with really nice gifts, especially not something like a computer. This competition would allow me to play Santa and give someone else a very special Christmas. You can’t buy joy like that.

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