Giving Back in the Season of Giving

The days are short, and the nights are long. Turkeys are desperately seeking pardons to avoid the chopping block, and yet a presidential turkey dinner is assured. In this, the time of plenty, we are reminded of those without. Those who seem to only have a wealth of nothing, which they happily hand out to those around them. After all, it is what has been given to them so graciously. This year, instead of being covetous. Give back, not everything that you have, but more than you gave last year. If you have no clue where to begin, here are a few ways to start.

ENTERTAINMENT

It is weird to think that those without would need a source of entertainment. Imagine for a moment a life where most people you see in a day at best pay you no mind, and at worst, make you feel less than human. I know I would give anything to not feel that way. To be reminded that I have a place and I am worthy of attention, or at the very least an escape from the world I occupy. Even if only for a single moment. Giving gifts of movie passes, theater tickets, gift cards and event passes mean infinitely more than can be imagined. An afternoon away from feeling worthless, is an afternoon filled with worth.

VOLUNTEER

I know it’s cliche, and it is difficult to know where to begin, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences you could imagine. Below are linked some local charities and opportunities to give back in the community. If nothing else, give them a look, and see what good you can do this year.

Family Promise: a shelter that houses displaced families, and offers food and shelter to those in the greatest need.

Homeward Bound: a group that is dedicated to getting Arizonans out of poverty and back on track

St. Mary’s: an alliance of food banks that want to be sure that there is enough to go around in this season of giving

I cannot recommend any of these groups enough. They seek to do real good, and ask for very little in return. If you have the time and resources please give them a visit.

RUN A FOOD DRIVE

Something to look into when volunteering with St. Mary’s is running a local canned food drive. These make a massive impact and do not require much oversight. They might require partnering with a local storage facility, but they don’t require a lot of your time. If you fear the time commitment that this takes, it is minimal but its rewards are well worth its limited investment. Consider this if you need a way to give back this year.

CHECK YOUR CLOSET

I know I’ve said to donate before, but for once I am not recommending it to make room for something new. Instead just find what you do not wear, what you don’t need. Everything has use, and strongly encourage you to help. Most closets are filled with mostly junk and unused clothing. So not only make room, but make someone feel special. Items of particular need are socks and underwear — although, I would stress donating new unopened packs. No one wants to wear someone else’s used underwear.

These are spring board ideas, ways to get the charitable feelings flowing. If you have any other ideas, or better ways to give, please reach out. Remember those less fortunate year round. They don’t stop existing when the sun comes out.

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