By Lisa Hein

"American Flag long may she wave"As my husband and I began to celebrate this holiday season, we decided to ride with other motorcycle enthusiasts for the Toys For Tots Run. Each person’s registration fee was to bring a toy and 4 cans of food per person. When we arrived at the shop, where we were to register, the room was filled with thousands of toys and hundreds of bags full of canned goods. It was overwhelming. It wasonly a touch of what we were going to experience.

The next day we arrived to find our place in line. Upon arriving, there were already about 2,000 motorcycles in place and ready to go. So many different people, but all with one intent. To ride for one reason, to help others!

We spoke to people from all over the area. There were some who even dressed up their small dogs, including helmet, sunglasses and jackets. It was off the chart! People were buzzing around, the excitement in the air was racing. It felt good to see people still having good hearts and doing something because they wanted to.

When it was time to begin the ride, in the distance you could hear the roar of motorcycles beings started. The adrenalin began to race throughout from all the excitement. Helicopters were flying over and crews from the local television stations were seen everywhere interviewing participants.

When it was finally our time to move, we came around the corner and turned onto the main street. OMG! As far as you could see, there were motorcycles. Two by two they traveled. There were people lined along every street we went down cheering us on. The police officers had every major intersection closed off and the traffic throughout was literally halted.

People were clapping and shooting peace signs like we were some sort of heroes. The riders were beeping their horns and waving back. The smiles on the bystanders faces and their support proved to me that the American spirit still lives.

Cars were backed up for blocks and most of the people were out of their cars waving and taking pictures. As we approached the beach, the people were outside their homes, restaurants, and lined up and down the streets for miles.

As we approached the turn around area to head back, the motorcycles that were ahead of us (by miles) were coming back. Everyone was beeping at one another, shooting peace signs, yelling, and just smiling. Strangers no more.

During this adventure, I had time to reflect. What I saw showed me that no matter what color your skin, what nationality you are, or your financial status, for that 2 hours we were all one. People were screaming “Thank you.” For what, I thought? It was definitely our pleasure. I’ve never felt more proud for doing so little.

No, the American Spirit will not be broken because we are incredible people and no one, no matter how hard they may try, will keep us down when it comes to doing a good deed.

This new year is going to be amazing because we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for. We made it through 2010 alive and well. We need each other more than ever and have have experienced things we never thought we would, yet the American Spirit lives on.

If your family has been blessed throughout last year, then may you embrace a desire to share peace and harmony with those around you whether you know them or not.

….. And remember you phenomenal Americans to rock in 2011 just like they’re doing, up in heaven!

Lisa Hein has been speaking around the country and can be heard world-wide on her radio talk show ‘Everyday Parenting.’ THE BOOK “I’m Doing The Best I Can!” (They won’t always be cute and adorable) is a down-to-earth resource that leaves you feeling empowered to be the best parent you can by leaving all the garbage we’ve been bombarted with outside!

For more information about Lisa, THE BOOK, or to invite her to speak at your upcoming event, visit her website at