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A Season for Giving

A Season for Giving

As I finish off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers and say goodbye to the remaining houseguests, I realize (as I do —with a jolt—every year) that the holiday season has only just begun; there are more houseguests, more leftovers, and much gift-giving soon to come.  The very instant that Thanksgiving is over (actually, maybe even BEFORE Thanksgiving is over), the mad rush to buy gifts begins. Black Friday. Cyber-Monday. And then December is upon us, and it seems to flash by in an instant. The holidays are rushing towards us, and there is so much to do to get ready. And we want to give good gifts to the people we love. That long-awaited toy, that special handmade sweater, that I’m-still-not-sure-what-to-get-for-my-father-in-law gift.

Certainly, it is a season for giving.

But as we are picking out those special presents, it is particularly important to remember that there are so many people who will not be receiving any gifts this holiday season. As you remember all those things (and people) for which you are thankful, and as you look forward to spending time with family, think about how you might give back. Give generously. Of your time, your money, your abilities. Today has actually been designated as #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. “On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.”

Givingtuesday.org states, “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”

What a great way to kick off a season of giving! Philanthropy simply means “loving others.” And there are many ways to be a philanthropist. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or senior citizen center, or your local school. Be kind to the people who serve your meals or ring up your groceries. Offer to rake the yard of your elderly neighbor.  Get to know your neighbors.  Make some chicken soup for your sick co-worker. Pack a shoebox of gifts for a needy child. Donate non-perishable items to your local food bank. The possibilities are endless. Just ask yourself, “What can I give?” 

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”
-Mother Theresa

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
— Winston Churchill

"How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world."
— Anne Frank

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can."
— Sydney Smith

"Go out into the world and do good until there is too much good in the world."
— Larry H. Miller

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens

 

Giving Tuesday: http://www.givingtuesday.org/

Seven Children’s Charities You Should Know About: http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2015/11/30/holiday-giving-7-childrens-charities-you-should-know-about/

Thanksgiving feast in Chattanooga: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/nov/24/causeway-feeds-1000-downtown-thanksgiving-bas/337300/