Sunday, December 2, 2007

'Tis Better to...

It's time. Let the Christmas shopping begin. For other people, that is.

This year, we (my husband and I) have decided not to buy Christmas least for each other. We'll take care of his daughter and our parents as usual, but this year, we plan to skip buying each other gifts.

Why? Several reasons, but one is that we'd rather do something else with the money. Rather than rack our brains trying to figure out what to buy each other, when neither of us really needs anything, we've decided to make a special donation to a charity we learned about at church. No, it's not money for AIDS in Africa or one of those fashionably exotic foreign charities du jour. It's a charity organization here that helps every-day people get through life's every-day disasters. A helping hand for people like you and me, down on their luck, if only for the moment.

For example, last week at church, the leader of the organization reported that this past month, the group helped a single mother who had lost her job pay her rent while she looked for another. It had also helped pay some living expenses for an elderly Army veteran who was having temporary financial difficulty and had no family who could help.

These are the kind of people I really want to help. People who are out there trying really hard, but stumble a bit because life knocked them down for the moment. I want to help them get back up, to keep forging ahead. And I want to do that more than I want the latest handbag from Coach or the newest Apple gadget.

It takes so little to be an anonymous angel for someone down on their luck, and it can mean so very much. There but for the grace of God, go I.

This year, for us, it just feels better to try to make a difference in some small way. So that's what we're going to do.

Merry Christmas, all.


SandDancer said...

It sounds like a good idea and with it being a local thing, it means that all the money will be reaching those intended, rather than being swallowed up with administration and advertising costs as often happens with the bigger national/international charities.

M said...

Yep. It's people in my neighborhood, someone I might pass on the street or in the grocery store and never know their plight.

I have friends who do grand things for African charities, and they're always nudging me to join them, but I feel strongly that there are great opportunities to help people right here....I don't have to go to another continent to do it. So I quietly do what I can right in my own backyard, and they never know it.