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I know we’re all pumped up and excited about the holidays.
We’re checking things off our checklist, we’re shopping for Christmas decor and we’re preparing for nights of family-related activities – and food!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, unfortunately, some souls are not as fortunate. They are without family, friends, food, and togetherness.
Christmas is just another day for them.
We as a people can make their holidays just a little brighter. In the midst of all the Christmas hoopla, did we forget the people who are not as fortunate?
Per my blog post title, ‘Tis the Reason for the Season, Christmas is not only about gifts, money, decor, etc., it about giving too.
Kids are like sponges, they soak up everything they hear and see. It is important that we are great examples for them so they can follow in our footsteps.
Have a sit-down, relax, and let me walk you through the top four ways to give back this holiday season.
For those of you who are already doing this, keep doin’ what you doin’ – bless you!
Here we go:
1. Toys for Tots – As per their site:
“The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. We work with local assistance agencies who vet the families and help them with food and clothing as well as the toys.”
For the past couple of years, I have been supporting this organization by dropping off new, unwrapped toys in drop-off areas in my local area. You can click here to find your local drop-off locations. We’re all on a budget these days and times are definitely trying. A great place to shop is Dollar Tree. You can definitely get a bang for your buck. They have a great assortment of toys that can be ordered online or at a physical location.
If you can’t drop off a toy, you can donate online. Convenience is everywhere!
2. Donation Drives – Donation drives are all over. Organizations like churches, community centers, etc. are just some of the places that are great to drop-off necessities like clothes, shoes, baby products, canned goods, toiletries, etc.
I live in the Houston area and there is a great organization like the Star of Hope that facilitates these type of donation drives all the time. They, too, accept donations online if you are unable to go out and volunteer and give. Google donation centers in your area.
3. Care Packages – I’m sure many of you heard of care packages before, right? They are normally known as packages sent from loved-ones to family or friends employed via the military.
Care packages provide our vets with expressions of love and support and it shows they are cared for.
You can also use care packages for the less fortunate. Some people refer to them as “blessing bags” because they are filled with necessities like snacks, deodorant, soap, shampoo, money, toothpaste, medicine, etc.
All of these essential items can be purchased where?
I’m planning to assemble packages this year with my son and we’ll just hand them out to the people who we normally see hanging out at the stoplights that we most frequent.
4. Feed the Less Fortunate – Last but certainly not least, we need to food to fuel our bodies. There are so many people who go out every year and volunteer their time to feed the homeless. In the Houston area, we have the widely-recognized Houston Food Bank that caters to families and people in need. You can donate money, food and/or time.
A good, hot meal served by people who care can really do a heart some good, so find a local food bank or organization and volunteer.
Before I let you go, I took a break from writing this post to go thru my Facebook feed and I saw where one of my friends posted the message below. Totally uplifted my spirits even MORE and made me think I was writing this post, while she was writing her heartfelt Facebook post.
This blog post was destined to happen to stress the importance of giving back and serving our divine purpose:
“I was just in Target trying to finish up spending the last of the budget I have for toys for a charity I am in. We serve about 900 families (2500 kids) for Christmas and offer them toys for their kids, food and books for Christmas. I am on the toy committee so I was trying to buy 3 scooters at $40 a piece and I gave them my tax exempt number while they rung me out. The lady checking me out informed me that they wouldn’t accept it because I only had the email and not the physical tax exempt form. (Even though I had just been there on Black Friday and did the same thing with no questions asked.) I was frustrated because I had specifically grocery shopped there so I could get the last of the toys we needed and it would be a one stop shop with a toddler. So, I told them they could take the scooters back since I couldn’t get them tax exempt… I’d rather use that money we would pay in taxes to buy more toys. I went out to my car and was loading up my groceries and the lady that was behind me in line came and found me in the parking lot and handed me the 3 scooters. She had bought them for me! She didn’t even know me or anything about the charity I am in and how the toys she just bought will be the only present these kids get this year and now we can serve a few more kids because I still have that money left in the budget. Just wanted everyone to know there is still good people in this world! What an angel! I am so blown away by her kindness. Just want to encourage everyone to look for those moments where you can spread the Christmas spirit and help someone else out! God works in such great ways!! Merry Christmas!!”
I hope this post helped you understand the power of giving back and bringing hope to the hopeless.
As always, this blog is an open forum, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.