December – A Time for Giving
As I mentioned in last month’s post, I believe I have a lot to be grateful for, and this month, I wanted to mention that I also believe in giving back. It is my personal and spiritual philosophy that the more we are blessed, the more important it is to extend blessings to others. If you know me, you know it is not my style or intention to tell anyone how they should live their lives, but I do hope you’ll consider expanding your spirit of generosity this Christmas. I truly believe that charity is a gift to the benefactor as well as to the recipients.
So, in the frenzy of packages and shopping and putting presents under the tree, please consider a charitable donation. Better yet, perhaps consider a gift to a loved one that supports, educates, aids or feeds a child or family elsewhere. There are a number of local and worldwide charities that offer these kinds of services, but I’d like to share a couple of my favorites.
I’ve mentioned The River before, and it’s my local favorite. Consider a donation on behalf of someone you love. Or, if you’re feeling particularly generous and prosperous, visit their site (www.riverfoodpantry.org) and fill the wish list at the bottom of the front page. (Hey, a girl can dream! If you’re upgrading your PC this season and are replacing a relatively new one, a little bird told me they were looking.) Food pantry items are always welcome, but especially in this season of need, and please remember that a cash donation of $10 converts to $100 worth of food for them. (As a nutritionist, I am always in favor of making sure hungry children and families have food.) The River also maintains a FREE clothing room for its clients, and at this time of year, winter wear donations are particularly welcome, especially for the kids (coats, scarves, gloves and boots). Finally, The River is run on an all-volunteer basis on Tuesday and Friday nights through December, so the gift of time is priceless during this season.
My favorite international charity is World Vision, a global humanitarian organization devoted to helping communities worldwide by tackling poverty and injustice. Through World Vision, you can help children and families around the world. Sponsor a child – consider using your birthday, or your child’s birthday, to match with a child from another country. Learn about his or her culture and experience, while creating a unique, life-enhancing relationship. Invest in small businesses through microloans, or invest in a family through gifts of animals (which provide both food and income!). With World Vision, 85% of donations to the organization go directly to outreach efforts. You can learn more about them at www.worldvision.org.
These are my own personal favorites, which I recommend and offer as suggestions. Of course you should follow your own hearts and feelings as to what charities you’d like to support. Just please consider supporting something.
Merry Christmas, everyone. May your season be bright and full of joy.