‘The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.’ W. C. Jones
Do you ever have an empty feeling after all the gifts are opened, the dishes are cleared, and the guests have all gone home? Before Christmas; do you drive down the streets in the poorest parts of town and wonder, ‘will they have anything for Christmas?’ Maybe we can close the season this year feeling differently by knowing we made someone else’s life a little bit merrier.
There are so many agencies in the Greenville area that work dilligently to seek out the indigent people in our area; however, they seem to always run short of funds. Someone is going to be left out of a warm Christmas dinner, a tree, money for heat, and the saddest of all-gifts for their innocent children. Churches work with their members through word of mouth to help others, and individuals try to help their family members who may have lost their jobs this year or missed work due to illness. So what can we do, where do we go, and how can we contribute? The answer is right outside your door.
- Donate blood-you heard me right. You may save someone coming into the ER during the season who has your blood type.
- Help a neighbor that may have recently become unemployed. A gift card, baked goods, inviting them to Christmas dinner or simply saying, ‘In confidence, what can I do for you?’
- If you have a family member who is in need this year, offer to help with buying their childrens’ Christmas.
- Stop by the Salvation Army or Red Cross and make a donation-there will be disasters next year and donations are their only resources in assisting victims.
- Ask your pastor, ‘Is there anyone that you know of that I can help?’
- Visit the nursing homes in your area and take small presents that are suitable to the patients.
- Call DSS and ask if them to contact you if they run short of money for a family in need.
- Listen and observe those around you in stores. You may hear, ‘I don’t have the money for that or can I put this back?’ I have helped several folks in the check-out line that were a little short of money when it was time to pay. You would not believe how thankful they are.
- Smile-just smile at less fortunate folks sitting on bus benches and if a conversation arises, pay their fare.
- Give to the bell ringers’ pails outside Walmart and other stores. The attendants are typically folks who depend on these agencies themselves.
- Buy a heater and drop it off at a charity that helps others.
- Buy an extra Christmas tree for someone who has very little this year.
- Cut back on your own family’s list. Explain to them what and why you did it and get them involved as well.
- Get your children to donate one of their favorite toys that is in excellent condition to Toys for Tots. Your children will always remember this.
- Last but not least-don’t ask for anything yourself-giving is the best gift you will get and the most rewarding.
When it comes to almost any group with a negative social stigma attached to it; the best way to combat the stereotypical comments, is to humanize the victims.
Remember–in this life, we only have what we have given away. We possess (all we have) because we are blessed. Help bless others, please.