The holidays are supposed to be all about giving. And in the spirit of the season, I recently received an opportunity from Cost Plus World Market to “pay it forward” to some of the people in our family’s lives that make a true difference in our community.

Cost Plus “ambassadors” like me were commissioned to celebrate those who selflessly spend much of the year making a difference. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy choosing who I was going to bestow yummy and fun Cost Plus treats to, but I narrowed it down by looking closely at people around me and my family. My little helpers and I carefully chose, packaged and delivered to each lucky recipient a gift basket filled with goodies personalized to fit their interests, and watched their faces light up! 

First to be celebrated were Coach Ray and Coach David. These two fantastic guys have coached my daughter’s softball team for two seasons now. Miranda loves playing the game, and Ray and David are significantly responsible for her enthusiasm. They both pump the team up so much with encouragement and eagerness that all of the girls have evolved into fantastic team players. Morale’s always high on the field and it shows in their technique and growth as players.

Both the coaches are friends off the field as well, so thanks to some sly investigative questions from Miranda, we found out that Ray likes to cook Mexican food. We themed the baskets accordingly and gave the coaches enough sustenance for a full-on Mexican dinner party, skillet and all! 

What would any community do without its firefighters and emergency response personnel? These are the men and women who fight every day for the community, and that’s why we chose the guys from our local fire house, Engine #19, which is literally blocks away from our home. I recalled how welcoming the crew were when Miranda and I visited their station for a tour back in her kindergarten days, so I decided to give them an Italian-themed basket ready for a full on pasta dinner. When we arrived to deliver their gift, they turned the giving up a notch! While they were very appreciative, they insisted we put it into the local Food Finders collection which goes to help needy families around the holidays. Even at times like this, they still want to serve their community! 

Our final basket went to someone who has become somewhat of a local hero here in Long Beach, California. Justin Rudd! is the king of community building and fundraising for our city and activities that bond people together. Seriously, I don’t know when this guy sleeps because he always has something going on. His events and initiatives are not small scale either, ranging from gathering hundreds of people every month to clean our beach, organizing a Fourth of July bike parade, an annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot and many, many other fun activities. Justin is also responsible for the world’s largest Halloween dog parade where dogs and owners get dressed up to strut their stuff. I already knew Justin has a sweet tooth, so some of Cost Plus’s amazing chocolate was a perfect enabler. Justin’s also a dog lover, so he and his partner have two bulldogs, Riley and POTUS, who will have their pictures and names adorned in their very own Cost Plus Christmas tree decorations. After all of the organizing he does, a glass of Leese-Fitch Cabernet is perfect to relax with! 

Now it’s time to share the love one more time. The object of this affection? YOU! Every week Cost Plus World Market is picking one lucky winner to receive $5,000 for yourself plus another $5,000 to go to your favorite charity – such a perfect gift to get just in time for the holidays. Just click on the link below and enter for a chance to win!  

As a Cost Plus Ambassador who recently completed his mission, my job to help share the love was both gratifying and only the beginning. I see a lot of good deeds from kind hearts, and making people smile is what it’s all about. Giving without expectation of anything in return is contagious – catch the wave and share the love!

For your chance to win $5,000 plus another $5,000 click on this link and follow the instructions! Good luck!


Disclaimer- As a Cost Plus World Market Brand Ambassador, compensation was provided for creating this post. All content and ideas are my own thoughts.