Our family has been blessed to vacation at VVR during the summer both times. It’s a magical place filled with wonderful people that make it very special. It has been a few years since then and I can honestly say we talk about it all the time. For our family unlike many who have made VVR a vacation destination, it takes quite a bit of saving and sacrifice to get there financially. My husband and I both have birthdays in December so the whole month is about gifts. This year my son said I want to go to VVR for Christmas! I couldn’t agree with him more. It is something we have talked about since visiting there the first time several years ago. We have always chosen the summer in the past because of the extra costs involved in a winter trip for us. Flights are one of them, and the other is the clothes. We live in Florida and would need to invest in an entire wardrobe before setting foot in all that powder. So after explaining to my son its not easy to just spend that kind of money, I put his love for VVR to the test. I put a mason jar on the counter and labeled it Sammartino’s Vista Verde Christmas! He immediately went to his piggy bank and dumped all the cash he had into it. Then he rolled all his coin for me to take to the bank to add to it. He had $72. Later that week we were running around doing errands and he wanted to go to Outback for dinner. Now here is a test! I offered to go to Outback or pick up some chicken at the local grocery store and bring it home. The difference we saved would go to the VVR Jar. He chose the latter. Amazing! Since this is the season of giving his class chose a local family struggling with medical bills to buy Christmas presents for. I of course gave him the money requested by the teacher but he wanted to give some of his own. He didn’t have any left since it just went to the jar a few days before. I could see he was struggling with this, so I told him it was ok to take the money he put in the jar and give it to the family. They needed it. He said “Are you sure mommy, I know how much you want to go?” I explained even though it would be a very special trip, it was more important to help the family in need and we would still be able to go back to VVR one day. So he decided to give half and keep half in the jar. After having the jar since the beginning of December I thought it would be old already but to my astonishment he even put the little bit on money he got for Christmas straight to the jar, as did I.

Name: Mary Sammartino
City: Vero Beach
State: Florida