Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gifts Too Big to Wrap [#12daysofblogging]

This post is part of the #12daysofblogging Christmas series being hosted by myself and Erin from Hooley with a Z. There's an opportunity to link-up at the bottom of every post and, of course, we'd love for you to join. For more information on #12daysofblogging check out this post.
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Today we're talking DIY Christmas gifts... This is going to be a different Do It Yourself feel.
Don't mind my liberal approach and wild take on how to Do It Yourself.
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Growing up we had a tradition called "The Envelope". It was a white envelope that sat upon the branches of our tree that had my mom's named scrawled upon it in my Popsicle's all caps writing. CHRISSY, it read, and it held his gift too big to wrap for that year. 

You see, he believed -like many others do today- that Christmas quickly becomes about the material things we buy one another, instead of about the spirit of giving in the way God gave Christ to us, and as His children we should give to others. So, the envelope appeared year after year. Until high school, then he recruited me to make the envelope happen. And, the magic of its contents came wildly alive. 

One year, under his orders, I bought gift certificates for local police officers to hand out to hungry citizens they might come into contact with… In our small town, hungry looks different -not homeless or obvious, but secret and just like you and I. Another year I dropped bikes off for a family who were strapped for cash but wanted to give their kids those memorable childhood experiences. These bikes bloomed into a relationship that included surprise trips to Disneyland and a scholarship to beauty school. The act of the envelope was magic. 

Then, Popsicle got sick. And the envelope became difficult and unmanageable, so it fell by the way side. But, as this #12daysofblogging series was born, I cherished the envelope more than before. So, this year, I share an envelope with you -a challenge to touch the life of someone less fortunate than you. +

With no further ado, I introduce you to the Young and Brave, a foundation dedicated to helping today's youth beat cancer through financial, emotional and social means. I was lucky enough to learn of the wonderful (surfer) men behind the foundation through my dear friend Ashten. When she offered me the chance to highlight their amazing efforts -and better yet, to assist in them- I couldn't say no. 

Founders Matt Coulter and Nathaniel Curran started the Young and Brave after a dear friend was diagnosed with leukemia. After holding a fundraiser in their hometown of Ventura, California their hearts were set on growing support for the cancer-fighting community nationwide. In seeing a need to lift up those who are being afflicted by the devastating effects of cancer and its treatment, Matt and Nathaniel began to passionately seek opportunities to garner relief. And that they've done. 

At this time their website has a database of all the warriors who are currently being supported through the Foundation's efforts. Of course, their goal is to continue to grow their reach and touch the lives of many cancer patients. That said, the envelope enters here. 

As bloggers and readers and holiday lovers we have the unique opportunity to engage in the efforts of the Young and Brave Foundation in several ways that extend from social media to donations. I'd invite you to peruse the list of possibilities the boys and I've put together for you, then engage. Get involved in changing the lives of these patients who are seeking hope and joy just as we are. 

Get Your Envelope On: 
1. Connect with the Young and Brave Foundation 
on Social Media 
As you're connecting with them, feel free to spread the word about the Young and Brave in your favorite of fashions.

2. Visit the Young and Brave shop 
for some Christmas goodies. 
(I myself ordered the necklace)
A little birdy told me they are going to continue growing the apparel line so keep an eye out for more cute stuff.

3. Donate
As bloggers we've joined together with the goal of raising $500.00 to donate for the Young and Brave's continued events at the Mattel Children's Hospital cancer wing -like their holiday dinners and parties.

4. If you live in southern California, attend one of their events
These dudes have awesome taste in celebratory style such as their Christmas Concert (it's acoustic, my favorite) and involvement with the Malibu Surf Invitational (hi, cute tan boys riding surf boards).

5. Interested in fundraising through an effort like your own? 
Please get in touch with the guys over at Young and Brave and let them know. My suggestion: flamingo flocking

There you have it readers. It's that time of year where we're paying it forward and thanking our lucky stars for the health and happiness that's upon us. 


  1. This is so beautifully written and I am so proud to call you my friend. Thank you for talking about the boys so wonderfully.

  2. I love that idea... and the young and the brave.

  3. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvDecember 11, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Love "the envelope"! Great way to share the story of the young and the brave. so many people need help, we need to spread the loooooveeee.

  4. love what you did with your intro of the organization! so creative. and yes, that envelope is a fabulous DIY gift idea.

  5. I agree! Love how you introduced the organization with the intro of The Envelope...which is such a generous, loving, hands and feet of Jesus, fabulous, amazing idea!! :)

  6. Love the envelope idea! Great way to share it and the young and brave. :)

  7. What a great idea! You have such a beautiful heart ;-)

  8. I love the idea of the white envelope :)

  9. Amber this is really beautiful. I love the concept of the Envelope and totally want to do something like

    (Also, I hope you know how much I've enjoyed sponsoring you this past month. You are a wonderful writer with a such a sweet heart - thanks for including me on your sidebar :)


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