A Memorable Christmas Tradition – Shares The Joy of Giving: Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Wallbuilders has begun a new Christmas outreach, showing love to those who feel forgotten. Tune in today and be inspired to make a positive impact in your community.
Air Date: 12/17/2019
Guests: Damaris Schuler, Misty Huddleston, Laura Mott
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Welcome to WallBuilders Live, you found your way to the intersection of faith and politics. Don’t worry, we’re still preserving the torch of freedom but we’re doing at Christmas time, so we’re bringing you some special not only Christmas music, but Christmas program in this week as we prepare for the holidays. And of course, David Martin loves Christmas music and can listen to it year-round. David, so you’re really going to enjoy this, we get to listen to all this Christmas music.
I love it, man. I start playing Christmas music on the 26th of December and keep it going till the next 25th of December, so it’s year-round for me, I love this stuff.
You’re a Christmas, not just in July but Christmas all, you don’t do the special Christmas in July…
It is too a holiday just be confined to a week or two here every year, it is too cool. I mean, I’ve got a standing rule that when temperature is 55, my Christmas tree goes up. So it could be September, October and it could last till March, you know, it’s too good a holiday just to last for a few days or a few weeks every year.
Well, it’s a wonderful time of year mostly because obviously, we’re celebrating the birth of our Savior. Also, a wonderful time of the year because people really have the opportunity not just to be blessed, but to be a blessing to others and today we’re going to talk about a way to do that.
God so loved that he gave and the best way to demonstrate love is by giving to others, not by taking. It’s more blessed to give than to receive. But there was something that particularly caught my attention here.
A Wonderful Tradition
There’s a local radio station here in town that starting with Thanksgiving and going through Christmas Day, they play Christmas music 24/7, it’s an FM station and so at nighttime, they have a DJ and this particular DJ, her name is Delilah. And so as she was on at night, introducing the music and running through all the Christmas music non-stop. She says, you know, if any of you have any Christmas traditions out there, I want you to call in share with us, share with our listeners what you do for Christmas.
So a lady called in, she said, well, it’s not really a tradition something that started last year but I think it’s worth sharing. She said, I work at a nursing home, I work there with the residents. And I watched Christmas with these residents and I watched an old man in a wheelchair and he got a gift and this box gift and he put it in on his lap and didn’t open it and kept watching everybody else in the nursing home get their gifts and open their gifts.
A Sad Sight
And he didn’t open it, so she said, I went over to him, said, you want me to help you open that? And he said, no, he said I don’t have the heart to open it. She said, you don’t have the heart? He says, I know what it is, it’s a tie. He said, I get a tie every year, I don’t have the heart to open it again. And she said that really struck her that, you know, here was somebody really lonely, who really didn’t have a gift was enjoying really watching everybody else have Christmas but didn’t have one.
And so she just thought about this and then started noticing how many people in nursing homes don’t have any family of their own, they get to watch everybody else’s Christmas, but they don’t have one, they’re about lived off…
So they don’t even get the tie.
Yeah, exactly, don’t even get the tie. And this guy got the tie, but the family never came. They just sent him a box every year with the tie in it so he doesn’t even see his family. And so she just looked at him and said, what would you like for Christmas? He said, I’d like my own can of shaving cream. And I said, what? And she said, it turned out it was such simple little stuff. You know, I want a coloring book; I want a word crossword puzzle book. And so she said that she went to the residents, those who didn’t have family and just asked and there was such simple gifts. So I heard that. Next morning, I got the staff together at WallBuilders, said okay, here’s the deal.
Going Out Into the Community
We’re going to find every nursing home in our community we can find and you do this on staff time because this is important stuff, so I’m paying you to do this. Go find all the nursing homes, get whoever runs them, find out who there doesn’t have any family at all and get with them and talk to them and say, hey, what is it that we can do to help provide a Christmas for thee?
And the story of what happened to that was really, really remarkable. It really turned our office in a different direction and certainly turned a number of nursing homes in different direction and that’s going to be kind of the rest of the story, but it really started a neat thing for us at WallBuilders and I think it provides a perfect model for what people can do in their own communities.
Well, we’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, Dave, we got some of the staff with us that actually go out and get to be a part of this and have been able to bless these folks and also be blessed as a part of it. It’s a very, very special thing. And so quick break, we’ll be right back, Merry Christmas back in a moment here on WallBuilders Live.
Bring a Speaker to Your Area!
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard the wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, about all the things that makes America exceptional and you might be thinking as incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group, whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school or public school or some political event or activity.
If you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.wallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. And if you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers BIOS to events that are already going on and there’s a section where you can request an event to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.
Welcome Our Special Guests
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. We have Misty Huddleston and Damaris Schuler, they’re two of our wonderful staff members here that do a wonderful job and blessing other folks with this idea David was talking about before the break. Misty, Damaris, thanks for coming on today.
Thanks for having us.
So you guys did this last year and then you’re right in the middle of doing it again this year, what was it like last year and then kind of walk us through for folks at home that say, hey, that sounds like a great idea, I want to do it. Well, it was actually really interesting after David told us last year and said okay, we want to look at doing this.
We just started calling around to nursing homes and the first thing we did, Dave said find out if any of them need Christmas trees. So I thought, well okay. So we started calling around and it was amazing the number of them that said we don’t have a Christmas tree or if you have one. There’s only one out front and people who can’t make it all the way to the front never get to see a Christmas tree. So we started doing that and then would go back to them and ask well, are there residents that really need stuff or is there anything that we can help provide?
And one that I think the impacted is the most and really got us looking into all the others was one that was in Fort Worth that we called and we just said, you know, is there anything that we can provide? And she was just like you have no idea what a blessing this is.
And so we thought, okay, great. And she started explaining the situation to us and told us that out of 102 residents, 75 of the residents had absolutely no family and were actually considered wards of the state and that meant when they died, that they would be buried in the county burial, they would have no funeral, no nothing and they really don’t get anything from anybody at Christmas time except for what’s provided for them by the nursing home and it was in more of a rundown area and the nursing home just didn’t have a lot.
And in fact the activities director herself went out and she would spend whatever money she could just to try to make sure they had a great Christmas. So we said, well, if you could let us know, you know, some things that they need and it was…
And you didn’t say you didn’t say 1 or 2 out of 100, you said what 75 of roughly over 100?
75 of the 102 had no family or nobody bringing them anything.
Wow, those numbers are staggering. I tell you, there’s a lot of people in need out there.
Yeah and the really neat thing about it was that we found out after researching these people and individuals, that actually 21 of those 75 were veterans. So that meant 21 of those 75 had actually made a sacrifice for, you know, our family, our nation and they were potentially not even getting a Christmas gift that year.
Another Way to Say “Thank You”
So that’s another great way for people to think about this in a way to say thank you to those that served generations gone. I’m guessing some of those, you know, might have been World War II veterans even, but certainly you got Korean veterans and Vietnam veterans. I mean, you got a lot of people like you said sacrifice for us and yet here they are, nobody is there to say thank you.
Absolutely. And when we started doing it too, we were asking, you know, well what can we get and stuff like that? And a couple of them, you know, wanted just if there were any movies or stuff like that. But then some of them were asking just for new pairs of socks and new pairs of underwear and if they could have a pair of sweatpants to stay warm when it got colder, if there was any jacket. Because there was one lady who loved the garden, but she couldn’t go out any time after September or October because she got too cold and didn’t have a jacket. And she said, I don’t care if it’s a new jacket, just something that can get me outside.
And so we started doing that. There was a gentleman who wanted just a notebook to keep in his pocket because he was starting to get Alzheimer’s and couldn’t remember stuff and just wanted something little to write stuff down and he didn’t even have a way to get a notebook. And so he would get scraps of paper from the nurse’s station. And so just little stuff like that. And so we started just going collecting.
And for the veterans, we were able to find out what branch of service they were in and we actually just went to some of the recruiting stations that give out stuff to college and high school kids and said, can you all spare any pens, any poster, stuff like that that we can give these veterans for their branch of service? And I think that that was probably one of the biggest hits. And one of the most impactful things to the veterans was that we would take time to find out what they cared about, what they did for service and then find those kinds of gifts for them.
That’s very cool. That’s a great idea. I mean that was a wonderful blessing. This is inexpensive, right? Ladies, I mean you’re talking about, I mean for some of these, 10, 12 bucks could really bless a person, a family that wants to go do this, could go spend less than $100 and bless a whole lot of people.
Oh absolutely. And you can go to the dollar store and get three pairs of socks for $2. You can go to the dollar store and get, for some of the ladies, they needed just nightgown stuff and you can get the nightgowns for $2 or $3. You can get sweatpants for a couple of dollars. I mean, you can do this and get a substantial bit for a very minimal cost.
Growing Closer While Reaching Out
So I’m curious now as a team here at WallBuilders going out as part of the WallBuilders team and doing this together, was that, you know because the reason I’m asking this is because I’m thinking about not only individuals or families that might be listening that want to do this, but we have a lot of small business owners listening that may say, hey, I want to do the same thing David did. And say to my staff, hey go out and do this on time, on your work time. I want to use this as a chance for our business to bless people as well. Was that a neat kind of a team-building thing for even to go out there as, you know, together from WallBuilders?
Absolutely. It definitely was. It brought us all close together as, you know, work unit. But the beauty of it was it really brought families closer together. I know myself and a few others of us, you know, brought our kids in to help out with this and this year, we’re bringing our kids in to help out with handing out the Christmas gifts and shopping for the residents. It’s just a great way not only at work to get involved, but like I said getting your family involved in your kiddos, you know. The residents really enjoy seeing younger faces there and bringing your kiddos up there and letting your kiddo just bless them, it’ll be a blessing to you and your kids.
Okay, so walk us through it now. If somebody’s listening said okay, I’m sold. Obviously, there’s a need, obviously, it’s inexpensive I can go do it and it’ll be a blessing to them and to my family for part of it, what do I do, how do I start?
How To Start
The first thing is just find one of the nursing homes in your area and you can get on Google and just do nursing home in the city that you’re in. You can go to the yellow pages or the white pages, if you know of a specific resident even that’s just in one, you can find out ask them, who the activities director is and you just call up and ask for the activities director and you ask them if there are any needs in that nursing home.
And like some of them to I know had family at one of the nursing homes that we were with, but the family never got to come around. I think they came around every other year and would occasionally mail something, but they would mail like a package of socks and underwear. So we were able to get some different things like some crossword puzzles and just simple stuff like that for them. And so you just call them up and find out what they need. And they may give you a list. If you say, I have $20 that I can spend, what can I get? They may have you go out and get 20 crossword puzzles because then that’s 20 different residents that will get something and they love the crossword puzzles, the acrostics, they love coloring books just any simple stuff like that that you can again get at the dollar store.
Now, do you wrap the presents or do you take them just and hand them to the residents what’s worked best for you guys?
A Fun Story
There’s a fun story with that, we actually have wrapped them so that way they get something to unwrap and we would wrap them and then we even wrapped the pins and pencils separately that we gave to them just so that it was another something for them to unwrap. And…
So you mean you never outgrow the joy of tearing that paper off the present, is that what you are telling me?
Absolutely not. And at one of the nursing homes, it was really fun, it was one of the first ones that we went to. And several of the residents didn’t know that, well, they knew that they weren’t going to be getting anything or they thought they weren’t going to be getting anything. And we had taken the gifts and just put them under the tree and they have a sander that was in the nursing home passing the gifts out to other residents and all of a sudden, they were getting these gifts put on their laps that they had no idea were coming and just to see their faces light up and some of them cried.
And there was in fact, one gentleman who at one of the nursing homes where it was the 75 people and he couldn’t make it out and so we took their presence into the rooms of the people who couldn’t actually come out to be part of the party. And when we took it in, he just looked at it and tears started falling down his face and he was one of the veterans. And he said, this is the best Christmas I’ve ever had.
A Crossword Puzzle and a Sweat Suit
And all we got him, we got him a sweat suit and we got him a war DVD and we got him a crossword puzzle.
You know, it says a lot about a culture in a society how you treat your most vulnerable and too often and our culture even in America here, today we don’t treat them very well. What a great way to turn that around and say to those that have served us in the military, those that have, you know, whatever their life has been, wherever it’s been they’re at a critical stage right now of needing love and needing to know that that people still even acknowledge that they’re there. You guys have stumbled onto something really great here and hopefully, a lot of people at home can be a blessing in this way. Doesn’t cost, you know, much at all what about churches? I mean, it seems like a church that got excited about this, man, they could bless a lot of people.
Absolutely. In fact, the church that I attend, our small group that we are a part of, at the church, we took our entire small group out and we just brought the list with us. And we just went down the list and found various needs and each family and picked out, you know, name and needs and the kids, it was really exciting for the kids, they got to pick out a name and the gifts.
The Kids Loved It!
Really, you just got excited about blessing somebody and as I said, the kids were excited to go shopping wrap the gifts and hand them out. So it’s definitely something that you can get other members of your church or your community involved in and certainly is something that you can do all year round too.
And we have been able to be a part of a few of the field trips that the nursing home takes throughout the year and, you know, got to go with them to a museum and the zoo and just all you really do is push a wheelchair and talk with them and just that fellowship for them is really just priceless.
When we come back from the break, we’re going to actually have one of the activity coordinators at one of the nursing homes you all have been helping. Before we go to break though, tell me what that’s like, I mean how did some of the new homes you haven’t worked with in the past when you first contact them, what’s the best way to do that do that? Are they receptive initially, do they wonder, who are these people, I mean how does that go?
They have been overly receptive. I think that they’re almost shocked because they don’t ever get people really calling in to ask what they can do to help. And so it’s instantly, you just call and say and they’re like, we haven’t even thought about it, we don’t know, let us get a list together and we haven’t had any pushback from anybody and they’re just over the top.
Thrilled to Receive Help
In fact, they’re the ones too that they call back and say okay, since you all helped with Christmas, can you all help with other stuff because they just don’t get people who are coming around and helping and volunteering. And so they are just thrilled with the help that they get.
I’m guessing every nursery home probably has people that need help, but do you all target particular areas?
We’ve kind of tried to do some of the lower income areas and hit some of that stuff just because we know that there are needs there. But we’ve called around to ones in all different areas because there’s something that can be done for everybody.
Alright, well we’ve got one of those activity coordinators that’s going to be with us when we come back in a break. Damaris, Misty, thank you for what you do. What a great example of what WallBuilders is all about, but what a great example of what people across the nation can do. Appreciate you all coming on.
Thanks for having us.
Back in a moment on WallBuilders Live.
America’s Hidden Heroes
Hi, this is David Barton and this is Tim Barton. We want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday nights. Now TBN is a Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History. In this season, it’s called America’s Hidden Heroes. The reason is we highlight heroes from American history for years. We’ve been focusing on the forgotten history heroes of the nation and now we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location, we go to the site, we show you where the events happen and it’s a story of folks like Bronco Charlie and Stagecoach Mary and Jedediah Smith and Robert Smalls and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night and the time is going to be different based on where you live, either way. We think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you and learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
Welcome Laura Mott
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Our guest now is Laura Mott, she’s the activity director at Westside Campus of Care. Laura, thank you so much for coming on today.
I’m glad to come.
Well, Merry Christmas and thrilled that you guys are having the opportunity to do some special things for some of the folks there at your center. Can you tell us what’s been happening with the folks coming in and giving gifts?
Oh a lot of folks have been generous and decided to help some of our residents that don’t have family members by giving them extra special gifts and making the holiday special for them.
So when you have some residents that don’t have family or maybe family lives too far away or hasn’t been able to come visit, how important is it for other folks don’t even know them to be willing to come and spend time with them and just say Merry Christmas?
Oh, it’s very important. You don’t realize how just a simple gesture of even coming to visit will put a smile on our senior citizens’ faces especially during the holiday season.
Is it, I guess when you say especially during the holiday season, I would think for most folks, you know at that time of year, everybody, we all start to remember past Christmases and we remember time with family or different things and if you don’t have people come in to visit, I can’t imagine that’s got to be a very sad time if you don’t have those kind of visits.
You Can Brighten Someone’s Day
Exactly. A lot of our residents if they don’t have family and maybe their neighbor does, it’s definitely hard to see them get a visit and they don’t.
So when some of the folks come in that don’t even necessarily have a relative there as a resident, is it awkward, I mean what happens when people come in and say hey, I just want to visit with some of your residents and we’ve got some gifts or we want to know what some of the needs are and we’ll go get gifts?
Usually, if someone comes in and they say, you know, we’d like to visit and brighten someone’s day, well usually, I will set them up with someone that I know would appreciate the visit and would sit down and interact with the visitors. It usually ends up being a rewarding experience for both.
So you don’t mind then if people come, you don’t mind taking the time to let them know which residents are in need?
No, not at all.
And I’m assuming that’s, you know, for we’re trying to encourage people to do this all across the country, would you expect that normally we do the case? I mean, if they want to help, the activity director is usually the right person to go talk to at a local nursing home?
Oh, most definitely, if they contact their local nursing facility and just ask to speak with, they may have a volunteer coordinator, but usually it’s the activity director and just tell him, we’d like to brighten someone’s day, we’d like to visit with someone and that person can generally point them in the right direction.
Just Take the First Step
I remember going last year with some of my family to a nursing facility in in Arkansas and I guess there hadn’t been many people do it, because they were pretty shocked, they were thrilled, they were glad that we came. But they said, you know, nobody does this. So the first time so we got to learn how to do this and that’s okay too, right?
That’s perfectly fine. Even if it’s just your first time, just taking that first step is really, it’s fun and it’s rewarding. And a lot of times, you know, our senior citizens kind of get pushed to the side, so you know, it’s definitely, especially like during our holidays but throughout the year as well, is just as important.
So okay, help me walk through this real quick, Laura now. If somebody is listening right now and they want to help, they would like to do this, first step would be to contact that activity director and maybe get a list of names and folks that are in need and get an idea of what they want, is that better than just showing up with gifts, maybe take the time to find out maybe some of the things that, yeah I mean, we had people that like crossword puzzles, you know, different things like that so you can even hit that real point of interest for that person.
Sure. It’s better if you call ahead of time. Occasionally, I do have some visitors that will just stop in and say, hey, we were thinking about, you know, the residents. But it’s better if you call and let them know and then they can be better prepared to meet, you know, your needs.
Specific Gifts Touch Hearts
Yeah, and then specific things for people. I love it, Laura, thank you. God bless you for what you do and for allowing these folks to come and help and for just being that person that’s there to help these residents. And please tell them all Merry Christmas from the folks at WallBuilders. We sure appreciate you coming on. God bless you and Merry Christmas.
You’re welcome. Bye, bye, sir.
That was Laura Mott. Perfect example of what you can do in your community and I’m telling you those activity directors will be thrilled that you call and be able to help and then more importantly, the residents will be incredibly blessed by. Back in a moment with David Barton.
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our founding fathers, about the original intent of our nation, the constitutional heritage that we have and really we’ve seen how far we’ve slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk, think I wish there was a place that I could go and I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the founding fathers firsthand, see the things they did.
And I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online, you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon project, to the Founder’s Constitution, the Google Books or even the internet archives or you can just go to WallBuilders website. We have a section for our library. Then under that section, we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself.
Friends, this is a time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. wallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
Hey, welcome back in WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Talking about ways that you can get involved in blessing folks in your community.
A Prison of Sorts
And you know, one of the things that Laura said, we were talking even last year, she said people all the time won’t help kids, you know, they want to help school, they want help the youth, but nobody ever comes and says, hey, can we help your older folks? And these really are vulnerable kind of people. I love what you said about that they’re the most vulnerable in society and they are. But you know, and a difference, it’s not mean to be melodramatic here, but Jesus said to visit those in prison and these guys really are in prison.
I mean, in a real sense, they don’t have any family, their bodies have put them in a prison because physically, they can’t get around and do what they want to do anymore. I mean they really are in kind of the cycle of life prison. But these are good folks to remember. Because again, people do think of kids, they just don’t think of the opposite end of life. And you’ve got a lot of folks here who have outlived their family for whatever reason or their families abandon them.
And you know, one of the things she said really did strike me and she’s right, I mean it’s hard for those who don’t have a family to watch the celebrations of those who do have a family. Because you get those in the rest home they do have a family, who do remember these older folks, who do show up but these other residents, I mean where else are they going?
A Memorable Christmas Tradition – The Joy of Giving
They’re going to be there, they’re going to see all this and they see it and they see the family and they remember what their family was like and they see the gifts and they see that they don’t get anything.
And I mean, this is just such an easy thing that we all can take care of if we just look at our own communities around us and as Damaris and Misty said, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s an inner city kind of a nursing home or whether it’s a high-dollar nursing home, because it’s just become way too often to abandon the elderly as a family, they just don’t fit our schedule anymore. So this is a great thing we can all do for Christmas.
It really does fit into how we treat the least of these, doesn’t it?
It really is. This is the right way to treat people, is the way Christ would have treated them.
Oh, is a great opportunity be a blessing, folks. I hope that you’ll take the opportunity to do it in your community. Get your family, your church involved, have a very Merry Christmas. We sure appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to Wallbuilders Live.