During the Christmas season we hear story after heart-warming story of the good and kind things people do for others. For example, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Virginia distributed $12,000 of new bicycles to children and spent an additional $13,000 to buy toys and clothing for children in need and their families. Wal-Mart donated $500 to the Salvation Army to replace funds after money in one of its kettles was stolen by a bell ringer; and there’s the story of the grieving mother, Jessica Bachus, who started Dolls for Daughters as a way of dealing with the grief she felt when her daughter Kenzi was stillborn. Since she couldn’t give a doll to her daughter, she gave dolls to other daughters in the community. The first year she gave away 150 dolls and last year she gave away more than 1,100 dolls.
These stories of generosity not only demonstrate the spirit of giving during the holiday season, but they help to revive our spirits and give us hope in a world that sometimes seems to be engulfed in evil, heinous crimes and sin. Giving is good, and it makes you feel good to give. But, wouldn’t it be great if we could hear more about these examples of giving throughout the year? We know that people, organizations and businesses are doing good things throughout the year—there are countless examples of this, but too often we don’t hear about them, largely because good news doesn’t ‘sell’ as well as bad news.
Good news shouldn’t be relegated to a certain time of the year. There are needs to be met and deeds to be done all year, throughout the world. And, giving doesn’t always have to involve money. Some of the most powerful acts of giving can’t be measured monetarily. There are extreme cases of giving, where individuals donate organs to strangers, or agree to take care of the children of a person in the military while that person is deployed. There are also simple, but meaningful ways that people give such as tutoring, mentoring, or exposing youth to cultural events that they may not otherwise be able to see or attend. You can give time to a homeless shelter, a nursing home or to a neighbor. Giving as little as one hour a week or a couple of hours a month to a nonprofit organization, child, military family or elderly person can make a big difference.
During this season of giving, let’s not become so caught up in the tangible aspects of giving, but find creative and meaningful ways to give to others—a smile, words of encouragement, our time and a phone call. And, here’s a thought; let’s embrace a spirit of giving not just during Christmas, but 365 days a year!
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” –Proverbs 11:25