The leftovers are long gone and the holiday lights are put away. (They are put away by now, right?) And, yet, the tales of giving continue.
For example, a Brentwood duo recently lived the "it's better to give than receive" motto.
Last fall, the Hansen family decided to do a bit less for Christmas so they would have a "little more to give to others instead," said mom Nikki Daoust-Hansen.
That gave twins Josh and Connor the idea to make their eighth birthday party a giving party.
Instead of gifts for themselves, the Pioneer Elementary students asked guests to bring unwrapped toys and books. And, with their allowance and neighborhood fundraising, the pair brought additional goods for children in need.
The result was grand. "Their friends and family really jumped on this opportunity to help them," their mom said.
The dynamic duo ended up with 15 shopping bags of goods. The books and about 50 toys were donated to the Golden Hills Community Church's Christmas Angel program.
Of course, the boys were ecstatic about their successful giveaway. "They were very happy (knowing) kids were going to not only get toys but new toys," Nikki said.
The third-graders already have plans to repeat their good deed, but start earlier to be able to collect more.
On a regular basis, the Hansens put together sack lunches, distributing to the homeless. "So they have grown up with a heart for disadvantaged people.
A HAPPY HOLIDAY: Last November, the Mothers of Brentwood provided 95 full Thanksgiving meals. Members worked to bag meals, load them into cars and deliver to the Head Start Preschools in Brentwood. Each meal included a 16-pound turkey, five pounds of potatoes, beans, corn, gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
Member Kelly Cockrell said the group is thankful to Antioch's Food Maxx and manager Vince Messina for "their help with providing great prices that allowed us to serve more families this year than we did last year."
The group also donated nearly 100 toys to children in need in December.
Most of the money raised for the giveaways is tied to the group's Mother's Day Luncheon.
MOB is celebrating the start of its seventh year as the "largest mother's group in Brentwood, and look forward to continuing to support the children of our community," Cockrell said.
For more info, visit www.mothersofbrentwood.com.
LIFESAVERS: Amber Russo recently wrote us about how sports "saved my son's life." Her son, Nathan Lindsay, joined the Freedom Falcon peewee team, led by coaches Bill Pierce and Bill Green of the Brentwood-Oakley Youth Football League.
"These coaches spend their time teaching kids the sport," Russo said. "But I'm not sure they're aware of the impact they have on these boys." Before joining the team, her 9-year-old had been struggling with weight, depression and school.
With no motivation or self-confidence, Russo said the outlook was grim "but on the first day of football practice this all changed." Greeted by coach Green, he told Nathan he was going to be his "little star, his secret weapon.
"That moment changed my son's life. It drove Nathan to do his best, which he did every single practice."
In addition to the encouraging words from the coaches, teammates also helped build Nathan's confidence, often cheering him on during practice.
Russo said that during those few months of football, her son lost 23 pounds. He now eats better and his GPA has increased to 3.6.
Gone are the days of needing an inhaler, and he's no longer on the verge of diabetes.
She said she is extremely grateful to the all at BOYFL and the "players who supported him." Russo said she and her son are already looking forward to next season.
Contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com.