Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paying it Forward - A Contest

This has been a rough year.

But, this year also provided many moments of greatness. In January, my husband and I were the lucky recipients of a weekend of respite, thanks to the philanthropic spirit of a local establishment. We, along with 11 other couples, won the opportunity to participate in The Blue Bay Inn’s, “Hotel for the Holidays”.  For two nights, we joined others in a similar situation.  We stayed in a boutique hotel room, were treated to delicious meals from The Copper Canyon, were visited by Human Resource representatives to provide job-hunting tips to the group, relaxed to performances by local musicians and were inspired by the voices of a local children’s choir. At this time, my husband had been out of work for four months and we had no idea how long and trying the months ahead were going to be.

We also didn’t know, and couldn’t anticipate, how much my husband and I would learn about each other during this time – about our priorities, our fears, our passions. We worked well together as a team and spent a lot of time talking, and soul-searching and talking some more. We were inspired by the comments of our readers and humbled by their shared experiences. In a strange way, we found comfort in knowing we weren’t alone.

And now, almost a year later, things seem to be looking up for us. Yet, we know so many families still struggling. Although there is a lot of legitimate focus about how unemployment or underemployment contribute to the sacrifice of basics such as food, utilities, etc., we have first hand experience at understanding the stress of not having sufficient income to maintain (or advance) our quality of life. This stress limits the frequency of date nights, family adventures and opportunities to relax. When times get tough, our relationships are what help us keep it together. But, often our relationships become secondary to employment struggles. Now we have a chance to pay forward the gift we were given last season.

In the spirit of the holidays, A Life Unexpected is pleased to announce “The ‘Get to’ Giveaway”. One lucky winner of “The ‘Get to’ Giveaway” will receive:

1)      A gift certificate from The Heldrich Hotel (New Brunswick, New Jersey), good for a one night (weekend) stay at this luxurious hotel. In addition to the overnight stay, our lucky winner will also receive breakfast for two the following morning at Christopher’s Restaurant and Bar.

2)      A bi-weekly (every-other-week) guest blog spot on “A Life Unexpected”, providing an opportunity to share your perspective on your “unexpected life” for the next three months.

3)      If unemployed/underemployed, an opportunity for you to post your resume, personal/professional statement and cover letter on our blog, to increase your visibility and job prospects.

Submit your story to us via email and explain why this year has been difficult and what this opportunity could mean for you. Be creative! We welcome photo montages, videos, poems, artwork, songs, etc. Please conclude your submission with at least five reasons for which you have to be thankful, despite the difficulties you’re experiencing (think back to our “I Get to…” blog entry). 

Do you know someone who has had a rough year and could benefit from the "Get To" Giveaway? Feel free to submit on his/her behalf. In addition to your submission, please include a signed letter (from the nominee) authorizing permission to be entered in this contest.

A Life Unexpected will pick the finalists for the second round of the competition, during which our readers will have an opportunity to vote for the most compelling submission and ultimately help determine our winner!

Important dates to know:

1)      Round 1: Submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 15th
2)      Round 2: Finalists will be posted by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, December 19th
3)      Voting for Round 2 will end at 11:59pm Eastern Time on December 24th. “The ‘Get to’ Giveaway” winner will be announced on Saturday, December 25th!

Send your Round 1 submissions to us at:  alifeunexpected.jtm@gmail.com 

 Good luck! 

For complete rules and regulations, visit: http://alifeunexpected-jtm.blogspot.com/p/get-to-give-away.html
or click on the "Get To" Giveaway link on our homepage.



  1. You guys never cease to amaze me :) This is a great idea.

  2. You guys are such good people :)

  3. What a incredibly generous idea! You two are awesome!

  4. Fantastic idea you two! You both are awesome people.

  5. Cool idea and lovely posting i like it ...

  6. Thanks for the posting you are great job for the visitors.

  7. thanks ..this is a Cool idea and lovely posting i like it .......


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