It’s National Giving Tuesday, and you know what that means? It’s time to stop being selfish and time to start thinking about other people. Other people that might not be as fortunate as you and other people that are struggling to stay warm, fed, and struggling to find joy during this holiday season.
There are so many ways you can help on this National Day of Giving, as well as through the entire holiday season. Marlee and me love to give to others this time of year, and we are here to share different things that you can do to bring a little joy into someone’s life through Christmas.
1. Participate in Operation Christmas Child. This is a fundraiser that has been going on every Christmas for as long as Marlee can remember. She participated in the operation every year in her church. You sign up and buy small gifts for a less fortunate child in another country. You can pick from a girl or boy of many different ages. They supply you with a list of guidelines so you know what you can and cannot buy, and then you stuff all your purchases in a gift wrapped shoebox, which will be sent overseas to your child. You even can write them a letter, so they know who to be thankful for during Christmas Day. It is a truly beautiful operation and one that will bring joy to the kids as well as yourself.
2. Participate in a fundraiser around your area. Grab a group of people, maybe from school or your workplace, and head out to PITTSBURGH, to participate in the Kiss Stuff-a-Bus Program. Buy as many toys as you can cram into your car and help fill bus loads of toys, that will be delivered to children around the area. Or do one of these programs in your small town. Adopt a kid for Christmas that goes to your alumni. Get a list of what they want and need the most, and make sure they have gifts to open on Christmas morning. These are kids that usually don’t get anything on Christmas, so bring some extra happiness to them. Make them feel special and make them smile.
3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter, or food pantry. Help supply food for families over the holidays. Families that can’t afford to cook a lavish Christmas feast. Or help bring people inside for a warm place to sleep through this cold and snowy month. No one deserves to sleep outside and no one deserves to be hungry. So give some of your time to people that don’t necessarily ask for it, but most definitely need it. Help give them shelter, food, love, and joy.
4. Go sing carols or visit with people from an assisted living center or hospital. Some of these people don’t have family members or friends that come and visit with them over the holidays. Be that friend that listens to them over a game of Checkers. Be that friend that holds their hand and shows them love on Christmas morning. Be the person that helps them eat their Christmas dinner or encourages them to smile, knowing that someone cares about them. Sing to them about the birth of Jesus or the joy of the season. Help them feel joy by singing about joy and showing them joy.
5. Stop, open up your wallets, and actually give a dollar to the person ringing the bell outside of the mall or Wal-Mart. This is a simple task that people often think of as a nuisance. All it takes is a dollar. A dollar that will go towards feeding someone who is hungry over the holiday season. A dollar that will help put toys under a child’s Chrismas tree. A dollar that will help bring a family in off the streets for a warm place to sleep on Christmas night. It’s not a nuisance, it’s a blessing. A blessing that will help bring a little light into this sometimes dark world over the holidays.
6. Visit with the dogs and cats in the animal shelters. Us animals need a little love and attention during the holidays too. We like visitors and we like new toys. Marlee didn’t wait till Christmas to give me the gift of a home, family, and love, but I know there are plenty of dogs like me who could use a home or even a friend to visit with them a little this time of year. It is never too late to adopt a dog or cat and give them some love, happiness, and a place to call home. And if you don’t have room in your house or time to adopt an animal right now, just visit with us. We like to get rubbed and we like new squeaky toys. We just like the attention and the sight of your smiling faces.
It’s Tuesday, December 1, 2015, which is the National Day of Giving and the beginning of the Christmas season. Start giving a little of your time, a little of your money, a little of your joy, and a little of your love. Don’t just give today, but give everyday, especially around Christmas time. It’s not just a gift for them, but it is a gift for you too.