On the sixth day of December my true love gave to me,
a present for the Angel Tree.
Give yourself a warm glow this season and donate some time, money, or elbow grease to a good cause. There are lots of people in your community who are in need, and so in the spirit of Christmas it is an essential part of the season to give back and help others enjoy the holidays in good health, good spirits, and good fun.
There are many ways to help at this time of year: donate some of your time at a local soup kitchen; drop off non-perishables or even a monetary donation at your local food bank; purchase and give Toys For Tots, Samaritans Purse, or Angel Tree (among others); put some money in the Salvation Army bucket; become a Secret Santa for a person or family. There are so many other ways to give. Find which way works best for you. Even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference to someone else.
Did you know that altruism induces the same reward centers in your brain as the ones turned on by yummy food? Think how blissfully happy you are when eating that favorite dessert (or in my hubby’s case – Ms. Winona’s collards). Yep, that’s the feeling. And the best part? There’s no calorie guilt that comes from unselfish acts of concern for other’s welfare 🙂
In years past I participated in Samaritan’s Purse through my church. One year I even organized the whole program. That was a lot of work! I sincerely appreciate those who do these types of events on an annual basis. Even right here in my community I can think of several people who are continually on the go, working hard to make some event or program available to others. Most often these people are not the front-runners, but the next time you go to a community art show, bazaar, parade, covered dish get together, see a Toys For Tots collection bin, etc., remember that there was at least one person behind the scenes organizing it so that everything would run smoothly for you.
As much as I enjoyed Samaritan’s Purse I realized that the need right here at home was great indeed. It is most likely the same where you live as well. The same idea can be applied in your own neighborhood. While lists of needy families are not likely to be shared by food pantries, churches, or schools, be assured that these places are aware of where the greatest needs are, and your shoe boxes or donations can be dispersed discreetly through one of those organizations. Here on the island we have several places through which gifts can be given, including an organization called Hands of Love. You could probably find a similar effort where you live, but feel free to donate to any and all causes.
This year I am giving to Angel Tree. Every year our church organizes this event and it blesses countless children in my community. No wish is too big for a child, so it is never surprising to see a bicycle on the list.
For something fun for your kids ~ try this link to Portable North Pole where Santa emails a personalized message to your child(ren). We have done this for three years in a row and Jadon still gets a kick out of it. You’re never too old to believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
And don’t forget the real reason for the season!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
~ Matthew 25:40 NIV