give a little bit
give a little bit...
I would like to gently remind everyone of Shelís penny jar project. It is not too late to empty those piggy banks and give to a good cause of your own choosing. The basis of Shelís project is that so many people have given so much money to World Trade Center related charities (and that is wonderful) that a lot of the smaller, local charities who normally see their coffers fill up this time of year are losing out. Shel would like you to take any spare change you have, gather it up and give it to a local charity. Then let him know which charity you gave to so he can list it on his site and add it to the running total.
Shel has also asked that those of us who gave talk about why we gave. Itís pretty simple for me. I have always believed that charity begins at home. Every time I see Sally Struthers on the television, begging people to give to third world countries, I am reminded that there are so many people, right here in our own backyards, that are starving or without basic necessities or health care. And itís not just about food. Itís about all the other things that so many people canít afford. Counseling. Therapy. Medicine. Shelter. Protection.
There are so many different ways you can help. If you donít want to send money, thatís fine. Every shelter can use necessities like toiletries and school supplies for kids. Can you imagine not having the supplies you need to do your homework because your family canít afford them? Ask your local Kiwanis chapter if there is a specific family you can help. Buy a toy for their kids. Buy them a book. Give them a basket of food for Christmas. Go to the nearest shelter. Ask them what they need. Shampoo. Soap. Washcloths. Brushes. They seem like little things to you but to someone in a bad situation, it means their dignity.
If you canít give material things, give time. Support your local soup kitchen. Ask your local civic groups if they will be serving a holiday dinner to the needy. Drive a shelter resident to a job interview. Talk to a troubled kid. Give your used books to the hospital. Hold someoneís hand at the AIDS clinic.
I know Shel is looking for your spare change, but I think he would be just as happy if you wrote him and told him that you really couldnít afford to give dollars, but you gave time, you gave your presence.
Donít confine your generosity to the holiday season. The farther away it gets from Christmas, the more the local charities need your help. Think of how fortunate you are. You have internet access? You spend money paying an ISP every month? That makes you more fortunate than a whole lot of people. Take a little of what you have, be it money or time or something you are no longer in need of that someone else could use. Give. Then give again. Then feel really good about it and spread that goodness that you feel around.
Never stop caring, never stop giving, never stop doing what you can to make someone elseís life a little easier.