What should we do?

I work with a group of 4 other women in a cubicle. Money is kind of tight for each of us and we all have our own problems. But one of them, "G", has had a particularly tough year. Ex-husband from Hell, money so tight she can't even really get her daughter (16) anything for Christmas.

Two of us (me and "C") in the cube want to do something special for G for Christmas. But we're not sure what. The others in the cube seemed less than enthused so just C and I are going to do it alone.

The only thing that I really know she wants or needs is a computer for her daughter -- her daughter needs one for schoolwork and always has to go to the library to use one -- but that would be way beyond anything we'd be able to manage to do for her.

So I'm not sure what we should do. We also don't want to make her feel bad or like a 'charity-case' or anything. We just want to do something nice for her. More than just a gesture, something that will really help her. I don't know that many details about her personal life, and you all of course know nothing about it...I guess I'm looking for ideas of things that would be universally helpful.

Any ideas would be appreciated!
Aw, that's really sweet of you! The first thing that comes to mind is to do a small gift basket each for her and her daughter. Nothing extravagant, but maybe some of the smaller-sized lotions, body washes, etc. .... a Christmas CD .... a cute Christmas ornament .... some home-made cookies .... etc., etc. That shouldn't break the bank for you and your co-workers, and it will give them each several things to open if you wrap each thing individually. Then, when you give her the baskets, you could say that you know what a tough year she's had, and you just wanted to wish her and her daughter a Merry Christmas.
That is so nice of you. Probably anything useful bought for her daughter for christmas would be apreciated. I don't really have alot of ideas to help you, maybe perhaps a gift certificate? Another idea you could call it a "favor between friends" or tell her it's a loan, but just never expect the payment. With me and my friends we never borrow money from each other we "trade favors" that way the money never gets in the way. It's alot easier to pay back a favor then X amount of dollars expecially when your broke.
I like the basket idea. Or how about a certificate to a restaurant that she and her daughter can get out and have a nice dinner together? I know when I had hard times, a nice dinner (Red Lobster! ) was a real treat for my daughter and I.
Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
Buy her a quality used/refurbished PC. DH used to have a used PC business that he would do on weekends; and he'd sell a really nice package for for under $200 and guarantee it for a year. Maybe you can find someone selling them near you?
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Even an old computer for word processing would be convenient. I know I'm not rolling in money right now and I have five old computers in my house.

I agree with the basket for her daughter and the gift certificate for a restaurant. Around here they sell general gift certificates that can be used at a whole bunch of different local restaurants, and some not so local.
Even an old computer for word processing would be convenient. I know I'm not rolling in money right now and I have five old computers in my house.
Originally Posted by Munchy
I was thinking this as well. Get the word out to your friends and family and you may be surprised with what you can come up with. I have everything except a tower sitting in my basement and I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Between you and your friend, you may be able to come up with a pretty decent computer package for them.

Maybe also check with your work (or have other people check theirs) and see if anyone is selling cheap computers. Our office buys new computers pretty regularly and always sells the older ones off super cheap!
I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
Audrey Hepburn
That is so sweet of you guys to want to help her out! I'll bet if you asked around you could find a free computer for her daughter...we have two old ones sitting around and I'll be lots of other people do too. Good luck!
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Basket idea is perfect. Excellent sale currently going on at Bath and Body Works too... I darn near cleared them out the other day....
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Even an old computer for word processing would be convenient. I know I'm not rolling in money right now and I have five old computers in my house.
Originally Posted by Munchy
I was thinking this as well. Get the word out to your friends and family and you may be surprised with what you can come up with. I have everything except a tower sitting in my basement and I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Between you and your friend, you may be able to come up with a pretty decent computer package for them.

Maybe also check with your work (or have other people check theirs) and see if anyone is selling cheap computers. Our office buys new computers pretty regularly and always sells the older ones off super cheap!
Originally Posted by CurlyCanadian
I'll third this suggestion. Most people I know get a new computer every few (maybe 5) years. My computer from college (I graduated in 2003, got a new computer in 2004) is just sitting at my mom's house. Nothing really wrong with it other than it's slow and outdated. Check around, specifically if you know any people in their late 20's who aren't dead broke....most of us really do have at least one old working computer around!
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
Basket idea is perfect. Excellent sale currently going on at Bath and Body Works too... I darn near cleared them out the other day....
Originally Posted by Lydyybuggin76
I love those baskets. I also really like the ones that come in those awesome purses - it's like two (well, more depending on what's in there) gifts in one!

I think it's really great that you're doing that for this woman and her daughter. I can't think of anything to contribute - it looks like everyone has already given you some good ideas.

Good luck!

Sarah

"And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this"

“My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.” - Tina Fey
Just another thought. What about sticking an ad on your local freecycle.com looking for a computer? Give some info about what it's for and I'm sure you'll get some good responses!
I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
Audrey Hepburn
Where do you live?

Have you looked on Craigslist? A lot of people unload their prefect serviceable PCs on there, just to offset the cost of buying a new one.

Or what about asking some technie to build one with new and used parts?
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

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