23 November 2008

Give a little bit (the holiday edition)

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US next week, I can't help but think of the many blessings I have, and those who aren't so fortunate as I am. While we've all seen difficulty in recent months, many are facing very rough times right now--especially those who have lost their jobs, and here, the hundreds of families who lost their homes in last week's fires. Already appeals well beyond those we usually see are coming in. The son and I have already packed up food boxes for a local charity; the daughter has brought home appeals for both the Heart Association and toy collection for a local children's hospital; and our neighborhood is supporting a local rescue mission, Toys for Tots and a nursing home. I know that I will also be picking up gift cards for kids at the nearby foster home because I can't bear to think of a child who is already dealing with abuse or neglect feeling as though s/he has been completely forgotten.

Charitable giving doesn't have to be elaborate or even costly. Even in the years right after I graduated from college and only made enough money to cover the basics with a bit left over to go into savings, I'd buy a few boxes of pasta or other non-perishables that were on sale during the holidays to put in the collection bins for Second Harvest Food Bank. It was a tangible reminder that even though I was far from wealthy, I had a great deal for which to be thankful, and could still help someone out.

Right now, many food pantries are facing a crisis as they try to accomodate tremendous increases in demand for their services in the wake of layoffs and increased grocery prices.

And every little bit--whether it's a donation of goods or time--helps.

Go listen to some good music: "Give a Little Bit" from the album Even in the Quietest Moments by Supertramp.

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