A Special Gift: How To Make a Real Difference This Christmas With Misty Huddleston.   In this episode, we talk with Misty Huddleston on how to make a real difference this Christmas! Most of us want to make a real difference but are not sure how. Well, in this episode you will learn a very simple but impactful and important way of changing lives this Christmas! Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 12/12/2017


Guests: Misty HuddlestonDavid 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.  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.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Merry Christmas and welcome to WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

We’re going to not necessarily talk about a hot topic today. Certainly not a controversial topic – I would hope not anyway, but it does–

Tim:

It’s a pretty old topic.

Rick:

It’s an old topic and we’re definitely going to talk about it from a Biblical perspective.

David:

If it’s a controversial topic, you really need to pay attention to what we’re talking about.

Rick:

That’s right, that’s right. Well, that is David Barton and Tim Barton that you hear there. David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton, our president, and national speaker and pastor. My name is Rick Green I’m a former Texas legislator.

You can find out more about us and the program at our two websites WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio site. You can get a list of all of our stations and also get some of the past programs and maybe even share some of those programs with your friends and family on Facebook and e-mail.

And then at WallBuilders.com, our main website, that’s where you can get a wealth of materials for you and your family to get equipped and inspired.

And speaking of Christmas, there’s still time if you get on there today you can get some products in to be able to give your family and friends the gift of freedom for Christmas. That would be a good idea. So, guys, we are going to talk about giving Christmas gifts today and a great way to serve others.

David:

We are and we’re going to talk about really old history when we do this. We’re going all the way back for five years. We’re going back a long way.

Christmas Music All Year Long

Tim:

So old is appropriate in the context of the story today, the topic today. Not necessarily in how far we go back, but it actually does stem around something that, Rick, we have to put up with all year long and it’s my Dad’s–

David:

Wait a minute – whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s this, “Put up with?”

Tim:

No, it’s true. I will celebrate the birth of Jesus all year long. It doesn’t mean I will sing White Christmas all year long.

Rick:

But your dad will, no doubt.

Tim:

But my father, yes. And in fact, it was — we talk about education and indoctrination that happens–

David:

And it didn’t take with you, clearly.

Tim:

Oh my goodness.

David:

It did not take.

Tim:

We’re really just trying to pursue truth and know what’s right. And there’s boundaries, and there’s good, and there’s bad, and right and wrong, and there’s time. Anyway, so it really stems from his love of Christmas music. And one of the fun things–

Rick:

And by the way, that indoctrination of Christmas music from your dad, it happens outside the family too. I saw one of our, someone they used to work at WallBuilders years ago that listened to enough Christmas music with your dad that she was talking on Facebook about that’s now her favorite time of year.

David:

Great!

Rick:

So, David, you’re a good influence.

David:

Oh yeah, another convert. Yeah!

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

So the idea of listening to Christmas music all year long there’s some radio stations that, around the winter holidays, around the Christmas season, they will start playing only Christmas music. And so then, of course, that’s the only station–

Winning the World Over

David:

And by the way, this is part of winning too because they used to start their Christmas music on the first of December. Now they’re starting Christmas music on these commercial stations on the 1st of November. So, I’m winning the world over.

Rick:

Wait a minute, you’re for that?! I’m always, before Thanksgiving, they start playing Christmas music even in stores and I’m going, “Wait a minute, it’s too soon! You’re jumping the gun here. You’re trying to get us to buy Christmas presents before even Thanksgiving.” So, you’re okay with that.  You want them to start in November?

David:

Well, now, Christmas music doesn’t mean you have to buy Christmas presents. I listen to Christmas music all year long, but that’s not buying Christmas. Rick, you’re too commercial minded, bro!

Tim:

Although, actually, it’s probably better to buy Christmas presents before Christmas – they’re cheaper.

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

You get the discounts. But, so the way the story starts, five years ago my dad was in the garage working on a project listening to one of these Christmas stations. And, dad, you heard the DJ for the evening talking about a scenario that was really kind of a challenge for you and then extended to our family, and then to WallBuilders, to get involved and do something. So, I think we’ve shared the story probably the last five years, but it’s worth sharing every single year. It’s important for people to know and think about this. So what was it you heard and what was the story?

Rick:

And lots of new listeners, and new stations, and folks that may not be familiar with what WallBuilders has been doing on this the last few years.

Traditions for Christmas

David:

And I will say that even though we’ve shared it the last five years, every year we get people writing and saying, “Hey, we took it. We did it. This is so good, so wholesome.” And so, this really is spreading and it’s a good deal.

But what happened was I was listening to radio and the DJ was playing a lot of Christmas music and said, “Hey, if you’ve got some kind of family tradition you do for Christmas just call in and tell us about it.” And so, there were calls coming in occasionally. And so one of the calls came in and the lady said, “Well, I can’t really say this is a family tradition because I only started it last year.” But, she said, “I work at a nursing home and as I was watching Christmas last year and watching all these folks open gifts they were given, I saw a man sitting in a wheelchair and he was given a small little square straight box and he just sat it in his lap and he was smiling. And he watched everybody else open their gifts and he was just having fun, but he never opened his gift.

So I went to him said, ‘Do you want me to help you open that gift?’

And he said, ‘No, no, I know what it is – I get this every year – they give me a tie.’

And she said, ‘That’s not what you want?’

‘I wish I could have my own can of shaving cream.’”

And it really struck her how simple that was and how that was his heart’s desire just to have his own can of shaving cream.

And as it turned out, the family just sent a box every year, never came to visit him, never came to see him. She started looking around and it turns out there were just a lot of abandoned seniors in these nursing homes. They get put there and nobody comes and sees them. And so I went in the next morning to the office said, “Okay, guys, staff meeting – here’s the deal. I want you to go visit every nursing home you can find around us anywhere. I want you to find out if there are seniors in there that have been abandoned that just don’t get any visits. And if so, find out what’s going on and let’s get them some gifts for Christmas. See what they want.”

An Easy Way to Say “Thank You” to the Previous Generation

David:

And so we went to nurses at the nursing homes and it was like, “Wow, somebody wants to do this. This is cool.”

And we found out a bunch of the nursing homes did not even have Christmas trees – didn’t even have Christmas lights for the seniors at all. You know that’s got to be, for them at their age, it’s got to be something they remember back to their childhood. And so we started getting Christmas trees and Christmas lights and getting them in. And that really brightened the place up for these folks and took them back to their childhood. Then we found out those who weren’t getting gifts and then we found there were entire nursing homes that were called “wards of the state” where they’d been so abandoned that the state has to take them over and care for them so there’s nobody to get them anything.

And so we just went through and made a list of what they wanted and it was just the simple — it was just precious. And it was heartbreaking at the same time because some would say, “Can I have my own blanket?” Well, that cost a couple bucks. Some would say, “Oh, I would love a crossword puzzle book of my own.” And so you gave them these little gifts of one or two dollars and it — I mean,  just to watch them they were like 4 year olds who got their wish list from Santa Claus.

You know, the fireplace all night watching for him to come. And it was just really heartbreaking to see how little it took. But it was really pleasant to see the enjoyment they got out of something that they were wanting and got. So, yeah.

Rick:

Small needs.

David:

Small needs. But it started something that we’ve now done – this will be the sixth year we’ve done this and this is growing.  Again people are starting to do this they just hadn’t thought of it.

By the way, we’ve found nursing homes full of veterans. And, guys, World War II veterans who went out and fought for all of us and they’re abandoned and nobody gives them anything. So it is just an easy way to say “thank you” to the previous generation without whom we would not even be here.

Rick:

Well, it’s something other people can do as well, right? So they’re going to hear you talk about it today and what WallBuilders has been doing. We have a special guest with us – one of our folks at WallBuilders that actually heads this up and helps others do it as well. Explain how we do this, but then hopefully others listening all over the country right now will get the same feeling you had, David, when you were in that garage to say, “Wait a minute, I can do that. I can go help those very people meet that need.”

Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis De Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book, “Democracy In America.”

Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected to him. He reported, “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And the longer I stayed there the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”

Did Tocqueville recognized that it was Biblical Christianity and the morals it produced that made America great? For more information about Alexis Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America go to WallBuilders.com.

Christmas Isn’t Far Away!

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. We know Christmas isn’t quite here yet, but it’s close. It’s going to be here before you know it. Less than two weeks away and there’s still some very special things you can do for some folks right there in your community. Misty Huddleston is with us in studio today. She works for WallBuilders on our team and she’s been heading up this effort. Misty, thanks for joining us.

Misty Huddleston:

Hey, thanks for having me.

Rick:

So, you heard a little bit of what David was explaining how we got to this point and the idea. But, now after five or six years of actually helping folks to do this, and you’ve probably met a lot of folks as you’ve done this. How hard has this been and can folks at home follow the model of what’s been created here?

Something You Can Easily Bless Them With

Misty Huddleston:

Yes, absolutely. It’s really not hard at all. What we’ve found is if you call the nursing home and you ask for their activity director, the activity director is the one that can help pick out, first of all, the patients that have no family at all. But she also, you’ll find — and it’s really kind of neat — you’ll find that these activity directors, they know the wants and the likes of these patients.

And so they’re able to go in, and they have that one on one relationship with the patient already, they go in they ask the patient what the patient would like and what their favorite color is and things like that and then they can give us those lists from these patients.

But like David and Tim were sharing, it’s often such simple items that they ask for. It’s the toiletry items, the zippered hoodies, slippers, you know, very simple items to purchase. But it’s something that’s their own and it’s something that’s so special to them.

Rick:

David had mentioned also the veterans. David, one of the things I remember you saying in the past was even just getting them coffee mugs with their particular branch or pins even or some of the giveaways from recruiting offices.

All He Asked For Was a Hoodie

Misty Huddleston:

Yes. Yes absolutely. And it’s so neat, every year we have a couple of stories from veterans at different nursing homes that we see. And just a neat story from this year – one of the veterans that we’re going to bless, he was actually in a Korean War and the Vietnam War, but he also worked for the CIA after he was in the military. No family, and again, all he asked for was a hoodie.

Rick:

Wow.

Misty Huddleston:

So something you can easily bless him with.

David:

And that was an easy thing too, Rick, because once we found some of these veterans there, every community has recruiters. There’s recruiters for all the branches. Air Force recruiters, and Army recruiters, and Navy recruiters, and Marine Corps recruiters, and Coast Guard recruiters. And so, Misty said you talk to these activity directors and find out, “Well, there’s three Army vets here and there’s two Air Force.”

And so what you do is, you go to the recruiting station and say, “Hey, guys, we got three Army vets here that are in a nursing home and nobody visits them. Can we have some of your stuff?” And what they do for these recruits, they have coffee mugs, and they have all sorts of pens, and all sorts of little hats, and whatnot.

They happily give it to their own vets. And so you pick it up and take it to them.   This guy has suffered in World War II and now he gets the army mug and that is really big stuff for him.

They display it and keep it all year right there in the room with them and it reminds them. It’s just — the other branches are willing to help you do that when you find a veteran. And by the way, Misty, we’ve jumped into other stuff too because we found these guys are really kind of forgotten. So when it comes around Veterans Day, who’s there for them? And so we’ve started stuff on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day

Misty Huddleston:

Yes that’s absolutely right. We’ve gone in on Veterans Day and brought gifts and even just cookies and cupcakes just to spend some time and celebrate with these veterans. We’ve also gone in throughout the year and done various field trips with them. We learned through this process that nursing homes actually do field trips with their patients that can go on field trips. And so we’ve gone on fishing trips, we’ve gone to the zoo, and all you do is go, you fellowship, and help push a wheelchair.  It really blesses them and just seeing a new smile, a new face, is just such a blessing to them.

Tim:

By the way, one of the challenges that we discovered from some of these nursing homes is, although they had people who wanted to get out, sometimes if you didn’t have enough people to help push a wheelchair, or somebody to help somebody that might need a little assistance, they weren’t able to go.  So when we said, “Hey, staff, let’s go help out today,” there were a lot of people who didn’t usually get to go on trips who were able to go. And simple things – going to the park, one time they went to the zoo, and so we’re just pushing around wheelchairs and so, “Where do you want to go next?” Okay, the birdcage. Okay over to the reptile exhibits.

And we’re really just helping them be mobile where they were not able to be mobile. And therefore, would have missed these opportunities. So it really was not hard to do. And so especially for families listening, this is a great family project. If you’re involved in a church, if you’re a ministry, whatever the case is, you need to find your area of influence. Because there are so many easy ways to get involved, but it really does make such a big difference for the people in those nursing homes.

Rick:

Got to take a quick break guys. We’ll be right back talking more about how folks all over the country can be a part of this. Stay with us you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Share a veteran’s story

We Want To Hear Your Vet Story

Rick:

Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live.  Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.

You have friends and family that also served.  If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at [email protected]  Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. We’re getting so close to Christmas. Thanks for joining us today we’re talking about some things you can do in your community to bless others this Christmas. Maybe some folks that you hadn’t really thought about up until now. And this program will help kind of jog your interest in this as well just like it did for David Barton five or six years ago.

How to do This

Rick:

Misty, you were talking about how to do this. So if you’ve got a nursing home in your community, it sounds like from what you telling, you — let me get a break this down — you basically spent about an hour, maybe, in research making that call to that activity director finding out what’s needed – probably not even that long. Couple hours, maybe, going and shopping for some of these things at the dollar store or Walmart or whatever. Or going to these military branches to get the stuff. And then go spend an hour getting to give these things out to these folks. This is a small tithe of your time to really bless people.

Misty Huddleston:

Yes, that’s absolutely right. It doesn’t take much time at all. And you say “bless them” and that’s totally right. They love the blessings that they receive. But, I will say that for all of us, we can say it’s been a blessing to us as well.

It’s really neat to be able to go in and help. But then to see that they really have the smiling faces and joy on their faces that they may not always get every day.

And so it’s just a blessing to be a part of. I myself have children, I’ve brought my daughter with us before, and we love to do this as a family.  You can specifically ask for the activity director, but you can also ask when their Christmas party is.

Or, if you choose to do this throughout the year, you can ask them if they have field trips or if they have other parties going on throughout the year that you can be a part of and help them out with these projects.

We Remember Kids at Christmas But Don’t Forget the Other End

David:

You know, we’ve got things like Toys for Tots and Angel Tree and all these other things where we think about kids at Christmas time, and we should. But don’t forget the other end. It’s almost like a second childhood in someone. And I don’t mean senility, I mean in the sense of these are kind of the same kind of abandoned folks just on the other end of life. And they have the same kind of kid like responses when you get them things and just displays and shows of love.

They’ve lived their life, and they’ve had the stuff they wanted by and large, or had opportunities, or they had jobs, or careers, or whatever it was. And now the little things mean a whole lot again. So going back to the little things, it becomes truly important. And while this is kind of a little thing to us, it’s a huge thing to them and it is it really is transformational for them.

Rick:

I don’t think it’s at all disparaging or demeaning to say that it is a lot like children from the standpoint of dependence. They are dependent on other people to take care of them and they don’t get to go get these things that would — You know, it’s a small thing to us when we think about. If I need a pair of socks or whatever it is, I just go get it. For them it’s a super blessing because they can’t go do these things on their own. And what an awesome thing for a stranger to come along and say, “Hey, I want to meet this need.”

So Many Nursing Homes are Limited on Staff

David:

Yeah. And not only can they not do it on their own, but there’s not enough staff at these places to do it either. This is not like the federal government that they keep printing money and can give you more and more; they’re really limited. They need volunteers and they need help. They want folks to do it.  That’s why if you can just push a wheelchair, help on an outing and push a wheelchair for an hour or an hour and a half and that’s huge. That’s something that a staff would do if they had a staff, but they just don’t have enough staff on these.

By and large, so many of the folks that work there, you have to have a heart for seniors to do it. Just like if you work with kids you have to have a heart for it.

So these are folks who really love them and care for them by and large. And yeah, there are some places where you have abuse and we try to catch those, and you know make sure the government shuts those down, whatever. But, at the same time, most of the folks who work there are looking for anything that will help bless the lives of these folks.

Christmas is a nostalgic type of time for them. That’s something they remember and look back to.

And so it really is a blessing and a ministry for them be able to have something at Christmas. And as Misty said, it’s not much. It’s not big, their expectations aren’t high, but boy, their appreciation and gratitude really is high.

Rick:

Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back here on WallBuilders Live.

Patriot Academy

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Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.

Rick:

Thanks for joining us here on–

David:

Rick, Rick —

Rick:

Yes?

What’s Wrong With Christmas Music All Year?!

David:

What is wrong with hearing that music on June the 15th or September the 4th? What’s wrong with that?

Rick:

Well, there’s nothing wrong with you hearing that music anytime you want throughout the year. Tim and I just feel like there’s just like this oppression. It’s like a Christmas music oppression.

Tim:

Yeah, if you remember the Declaration of Independence–

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

— it was about how the king was forcing them–

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

— to do things that violated their God-given rights. And God has given me the right.

David:

This is getting deep. *

Rick:

You’re getting dangerously close to my position which has gotten hate mail. I just want you to know. Well, I get the mail that says, “What’s wrong with Christmas music? Why does Rick Green hate Christmas music? I don’t hate –.

Anyone Can do This

Rick:

Okay, so back to our higher purpose of today’s program, Misty Huddleston is our special guest today joining us in studio here at WallBuilders. She heads up the program to reach out to these nursing homes. And part of what we were talking about earlier, guys, is just how easy this is. And I think that’s one of things to really get across to people is you don’t have to have any expertise, any experience in this kind of thing. Anyone can pick up the phone and do this and just be a great blessing to these folks.

And Misty, you pointed out it’s a real blessing to us when we do it and it is. We took our whole family and it’s just been– and especially for the kids. For our kids to see that other person’s face light up and be on the giving side, not just the receiving side, that’s a huge deal.

Misty Huddleston:

Yes, yeah, you’re right. And we also had a group here, the Republican Party here in Weatherford. They were listening to the program a couple of years ago, heard what we were doing, and said, “Hey we want to help out.” They came to us that next year and asked if they could help out, what they could do to be a part of this blessing.

After that year they’ve come back every year. They want to help as well. So, it’s really catching. People are seeing the blessing that it is and want to be a part.

David:

Yeah, we get e-mails and contacts from all sorts of other people, “Hey, we did that in our community, and what a blessing it was, it was so easy.” So, it really has spread out, and I hope it continues to spread out, and I hope we continue to remember the kids. But, I hope we also continue to remember those who gave us the kids quite frankly and these really are special people.

Giving Back

David:

I go back to 1 Timothy 5 where Paul says that you’re to — what it says in King James is — “requit” your parents, or “requit” depends on how you wanted to pronounce it. But to requit your parents and that means to repay your parents. And you think about how many years that they put into caring for you when you couldn’t care for yourself. And sometimes up to 18 years old – they carried you through college and paid for it, whatever.

But this is a way to repay them in the same way. And sometimes we get busy and say, “Hey, I’ve got my job, I’ve got my career, I’ve got my kids, I’ll put them in nursing home and they’ll take care of them.”

You repay them. They gave their life for you in those early years and this is a way to give back. Now granted, this is only one day, a few hours out of the day, but it’s still a good way to repay and do exactly what 1 Timothy 5 talks about.

Rick:

Hey, Misty, real quick before we close out today. If somebody’s going, “This sounds great. I have never done anything like this. I’ve never even been to a nursing home. I don’t even know how to find one.” Literally, just get on and Google “nursing home” and the name of your town would probably be the quickest easiest way, right?

Misty Huddleston:

Yes absolutely. Look online for local nursing homes. You can get phone numbers and like I said, when you call the nursing homes, specifically ask for the activity director. That individual will be the one that will be able to help you and answer your questions and get lists for you. If you’re looking for a list and just really help you with proceeding with this project.

David:

When we did this the first time, we didn’t know where nursing homes were because I heard this out at the ranch in the garage, working out in the garage, and, man, I don’t even know where a single nursing home is around us. And so we googled it and found a whole bunch around us and went and visited all of them and they were all in need. We did not find a single nursing home that didn’t want help. There was not a single one that didn’t ask for help.

Misty Huddleston:

That’s right.

Small Requests That Meant So Much

Rick:

When you call, Misty, do you usually tell them, “Hey, here’s my budget. I’ve got 50 dollars I can spend, or a hundred dollars, or whatever.” Is that something you tell them up front or you just ask for whatever their needs are and then see which ones you can meet?

Misty Huddleston:

I can honestly say we never give a budget because the requests are so small. We were talking earlier about toiletries. It seemed so simple to buy somebody their own bar of soap, or their own deodorant, or something like that. But, when you consider these patients have no family–

David:

And by the way, that’s not us making choices for them that you need deodorant and soap, that’s what they’re asking for.

Misty Huddleston:

Absolutely.

David:

We’re talking the stuff that they are asking us for.

Thanks to Misty For Making A Difference

Misty Huddleston:

That’s right. They’ll ask for their own lotion, their own bar of soap, their own shampoo, something like that. Because they’ve for years gone using this generic soap and shampoo that the nursing home is providing for them. So having their own bottle may be in a scent that they love or something that, again, is their own. They can put their name on it. It is very special to them and, like I said, the requests that we receive are certainly nothing big. Everything is something that is doable. You’ll just be quite humbled when you read the lists that come through from these nursing homes.

Rick:

Misty, thanks for sharing with us. Thanks for leading the charge for WallBuilders on this. And for all the folks that are longtime listeners that picked up on this a few years ago and are doing it in your communities as well, thank you for doing that. In fact, some of you email us in and share your stories so we can share it on the air as well. But, there’s not a person listening right now that cannot be a part of this. This is a great way to be a blessing. Anyone can be a part of it. And you’ll find your family and people in your community would love to join you in this as well and do the same thing.

Thanks so much for listening today. Folks, you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.