Monday, December 30, 2013

The Season to Give

The holiday season is one of  family & friends, gatherings, programs, plays, activities, gifts, food and fun. It is also a special time to GIVE to others. I work in fundraising as a career, and it suits my heart and soul. Mark and I make charitable donations to our church, the hospital where I work, our kids' school, and organizations we believe in.

The holidays are also a special time to put giving into ACTION as a family. 
Year round, I volunteer on our church council, the church stewardship committee, the kids school, and here and there when requested or needed.

This holiday season, the Twinners and I also rang bells for the Salvation Army. We had a FANTASTIC time. (FYI - Age 6 seems to be the golden year to start this activity)
We lucked out. The Saturday we registered for on-line (easy-breezy), at the grocery store near our home, was a balmy 28 degrees. No sub-zero temps for us, thank goodness!
We came prepared with Caribou hot cocoa and a Spicy Mocha for mama (yes..that is just typical of Americans with plenty, volunteering with an luxurious cup of hand crafted coffee in their hand), a rug to stand on, Santa hats or head ware, candy canes for all, an a milk crate and blankets for the Twinnners to sit on.
The kids greeted everyone with a "Merry Christmas" and we offered a candy cane to all who crossed our path.I told the kids this was NOT about having every person donate, and some may not be able to do so. This is about sharing our hearts and giving of our time to help those in need, who we do not know.
People were very generous. More than one person handed over $20 bills and THANKED my kids for their volunteer work. Yes... they thanked US. People stopped to share their good will with my kiddo's sharing their good will. Many, many visitors gave multiple dollars.
 My kids did good, and I am proud of all of us.
We had a wonderful time, and this will NO DOUBT be a yearly tradition.

Also this season,
  • I donated my time to the church Sunday School Christmas program and to Marly's school party.
  • I volunteered at the "holiday shop" for Alexandra House (our local battered women's shelter). It allows women in need to "shop" for gifts for their kids.
  • Each child put together an Operation Christmas Child box.
  • We donated food, household goods, and money to our school's "Making Spirits Bright" program for family's in need there. 
  • We donated to our church food shelf and the holiday food baskets delivered to needy families.
  • Our family lit the 4th Advent Candle at church.
The time to give is YEAR ROUND, but especially important and identifiable at this time of year.

Honestly, we have so much, it actually makes me cry. Is our 1970's split level house overly large or grand compared to those just a few miles away??? NO   (..... and YES.)

It is luxurious by the standards of the kids in MANY, MANY parts of the world, far from here!
It is ALSO grand by the likes of kids just a few miles from us too!

I want my kids to know and understand it is our PLACE and PURPOSE to do good for others (year round). Jesus arrives, and it is the perfect time to practice what our religion teaches us.  Bell ringing was just one of many ways to give, and remember to GIVE again.

May you all be blessed too!

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