As the holidays approach with laser-like speed, we Americans are thinking, “What should I give my friends and co-workers this year? What kind of gift card or gift would they like to receive?” First, if you are still in business in today’s economic climate, take a moment to say “thanks”. Now, if you have a business and a little extra “jingle in your pocket”, then you are very blessed indeed!
Second, ask yourself if your fellow employees really need another coffee mug or pen & pencil set? Just those few dollars that you would spend on your co-workers or employees would make a huge difference in a complete stranger’s life during the Christmas season. Think about the community where you live, where a donation would be most appreciated. Is there a local children’s home that needs toys and clothing or a local food pantry for needy families? Walking through your local mall, do they have an “angel tree” child or elderly person you can “adopt”?
Now let’s think a little more “big picture”. At the state level, is there a cause which you feel particularly passionate about that would make your state a better place to live and a better place for your children to grow up?
Now let’s try thinking nationally! Has a loved one died of cancer? Then reach deep to donate to the Susan B. Komen Organization or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
An animal lover might appreciate a gift to a humane society on his or her behalf! The American Red Cross and Action Against Hunger USA both get an “A” from www.charitywatch.org. Please also remember all our soldiers and their families by supporting the organizations that work tirelessly to provide our troops with care packages and the everyday necessities we take for granted.
Okay, now we have made it to the global level! Any donation, no matter how large or small, makes a difference in the life of any adult or child on the planet suffering from malnutrition or disease. Well-known organizations include Save the Children, Global Angels, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, CARE, Operation Smile, International Rescue Committee, Heifer International, Africare, and Compassion.
This truly will be a memorable Christmas if you give a little less to the family members, co-workers and friends who have “more”, and a little more to those who are barely surviving on “less”. Bet you’ll wake up with a smile on your face Christmas morning, but probably not as big as the smile on the face of the total stranger whose life you have affected forever.
“Down in their hearts, wise men know this truth: the only way to help yourself is to help others.” – Elbert Hubbard