Saturday, November 26, 2016

I Don't Pick A Name Off A Tree Or Drop Dollar Bills Into A Donation Jar

During the holiday season, the amount of charities and organizations pleading for donations is astronomical. It's almost impossible to enter a store without passing by the Salvation Army bell ringer or walking by a Christmas tree decorated with names of children and their wish list. Food pantries plead for donations. Checkout clerks ask for $1 donation for various organizations. Fundraising events are at an all time high. Local police and fire departments hold food drives to collect non-perishable food for food baskets.

Every year, without fail, and no matter what my situation has been, I've always done what I can to assist families in need. However, I don't pick a name off a tree or drop dollar bills into those famous red donation containers.

Instead, I pay close attention to those around me, the people in our community, and stuff I hear through the grapevine. There's no shortage of people in need right here in our community and, more often than not, we either know them personally or they're a friend of a friend.

Most of the time, these people are too proud to ask for help. They're too ashamed. Their name isn't on one of those on the Christmas trees and you probably won't see them standing in line at the food bank.

These are the people we choose to assist during their rough times. 

This is why I encourage people to be observant and to check on neighbors and acquaintances. Look. Listen. If you hear something through the grapevine, inquire about it with respect to their privacy and pride. Do something.

When these people and families show up on our radar, we kick it into full swing to assist. Whether it's spreading Bodacious Biscuit Love for pet parents in need or providing much needed items for families who have fallen on hard times, we do what we can.

We don't ask, "What do you need or what can we do?" People's pride tends to put up roadblocks or be met with, "We're fine. We don't need anything."

We. Just. Do. It.

I'll admit, with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and this being our busiest time of the year, it would be easier to write a check or drop a few non-perishable food items off in a bin, but that's not the road we choose to travel.

We choose to help the people we know, the friends of friends, the people within our immediate community. Sometimes we start a collection and offer free homemade cookies to those who contribute. Sometimes, we launch a fundraiser. Whatever the case may be, it's all for the greater good. For our neighbors. Our friends. Our acquaintances.

Take a few minutes. Take a good look around you. Do what you can to help out whether it's making a platter of cookies or providing the food for a scrumptious Christmas dinner.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

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