Friday, April 03, 2009

Do Good With Your Vacation Home -- Paying the Blessings Forward

Winning the WindMark Idea House still feels surreal to us. Certainly, it was a tremendous blessing for us to receive such a beautiful home in the breathtaking coastal community of WindMark Beach -- but for that home to be located just 1 1/2 hours from my Northwest Florida hometown is an absolute dream come true! (Which is why we named the home --Summer Dream.)
And now, with the tremendous rental success it has experienced (each week of Spring Break has been booked SOLID and most of June & July are already rented, as well!). The joy of sharing such a blessing with so many other families is just overwhelming. To honor our blessings during the Christmas season last year, we donated a week stay in the home to our Air Force squadron booster club. During May, a military family will be vacationing there free of charge. I know the family who received the gift, and am thrilled they will be spending a much-deserved week at the beach. But . . . you know, given the level of abundance we've enjoyed this year, I truly felt we could give more.
So, we decided to offer discounted stays at Summer Dream to ALL active-duty military and veterans. This is an easy gift for us to give, of course. As an Air Force spouse and mother to three children who miss their Daddy when he's away -- I know first-hand the sacrifice of all military families.
My heart still felt that we could do more . . . so I did a little research.
I found a few organizations that utitilize vacation homes as a way to give back. Vacation Homes for Charity auctions stays in luxury homes, then appropriates the proceeds (which equates to hundreds of 1000s of dollars each year) to a variety of charities. In Cananda, cottage owners may donate a stay in their rentals through Cottage Dreams to cancer survivors and their families -- offering them a chance to recuperate and rejuvenate after treatment.Vacations For Veterans is a nonprofit organization created to provide recently wounded veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a week of free lodgings donated by a vacation homeowner. Wounded veterans face many challenges when they return home. They are reconnecting with family members and rebuilding their lives. Their honorable service and family sacrifices certainly merit relaxing time away -- but a vacation in a dreamy destination with professionally designed accomodations is a luxury few veterans would be able to afford.
Through Vacations for Veterans, our family will be able to give a worthy military family the Summer Dream vacation they deserve.
In this year when dreams keep coming true for us for us, the greatest way to express our gratitude, I believe, is to keep paying those blessings forward. I hope my children learn it is truly in giving that our hearts receive.
Today, may you also feel abundantly blessed.


Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

That's a wonderful idea! We've just moved into our vacation home. We like the lifestyle here so much better. You might do that one's a beautiful place.


Kerry said...

I LOVE this! To paraphrase & apply one of Jim Rohn's quotes, it would seem that your success is not magical or mysterious, just the simple natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals! Well done!

Kristen said...

I love what you are doing. I'm so glad that you mentioned the vacations for veterans site--I will have to look them up and donate some weeks at our different vacation homes!

by Leisa Tobler said...

I'm glad to hear others are inspired to pay the blessings forward, as well. Thanks for stopping by and leaving kind words!

Carolee said...

What a great way to give back! You are such a caring, kinhearted woman!

Please feel free to visit my new blog,Bloggers Connect and leave your link.

Sue said...

Hi Leisa

I'm a new blogger with an Orlando vacation package site. It looks like your site is relevant to mine and I think it would be beneficial to do a blogroll exchange - please let me know if you're interested so we can agree the anchor text.



Maggie said...

How do I get in touch with the organization that arranges vacations for veterans. I tried with no luck. Can you put me on the right track?


Leisa @ Ideamom said...

Thanks for your comment Maggie. . . will direct you to their site. I appreciate your interest.

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