I don’t know about you, but I’m just now starting to think about the holidays that close out each year. I’ll say honestly, I’m not really in the spirit too much this year. Some of it is just 2020 being 2020, some of it is collateral to 2020. Family is very important to us and not being able to spend it with the larger family is just sucking the oxygen out of the room. So much so, we aren’t really doing Thanksgiving this year, planning, as of right now, to do something in February, when maybe things will be a little better.
In talking to some family members this morning, getting caught up on kids, health, and life in general, someone said they are wanting to do Christmas a little different this year. Rather than exchanging gifts as we’ve done over the years, they wanted to donate to a local charity in our name instead.
Both my husband and I thought it was a great idea. So much so, we are going to do the same thing on our end as well. At the end of each year, although we do give throughout the year as well, we have always given larger sums to a number of charities. The kids were involved in the end-of-year discussion as they were also donating (we always matched whatever the total the kids had saved for charity during the year). Over the years we have given to Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Heifer International, and the Humane Society, among others.
This year, giving to charities seems more appropriate than giving gifts. We’ve all seen the long lines of people waiting at food banks across the nation. It is sad to see, but it is also somewhat abstract. Over the weekend, when leaving our neighborhood, food scarcity practically hit us in the face.
There is a church across the street from us. They are very good neighbors and when our neighborhood first opened, all new families were given a welcome basket containing some basic necessities one needs when first moving into a new home. On Saturday, they were operating a food pantry—they open it twice a month. As I was waiting for traffic to clear to pull out, what I saw across the street was truly heartbreaking. Car after car after car kept pulling into the church’s parking lot, which was already at capacity, to get a food box. It is one thing to see the video on the TV box, quite another to see it happening right in front of your face. I decided right then that we had to donate funds to the church to help those in need.
As we move into the holiday buying days, I would like to ask you, if you are still working and have your needs being met, to take a moment to pause and reflect. My ask is for you to pause and reflect to see if you also might find a local charity to donate to this year, as a one time donation, or maybe even a recurring donation. Pause and reflect if you might decrease your present budget by $10, $25, or more, to donate instead.
It is true you will not be able to see the face of the family who benefits from your donation. It is true you will probably not receive a thanks of any sort. It is true though you will feel better for having donated, and you will know you have helped a stranger, as Jesus often did, in a time of need, which helps that family, helps our society, and helps our own souls.
Please, again, I invite you to give what you can to a local charity as even small amounts go a long way when added together.
Thank you in advance for your donations. I appreciate you!