The Season of Giving

The rush of adrenaline and a gasp of surprise take over your body as you open a tightly wrapped package, or aggressively and excitedly yank out all the tissue paper that separates you from your newest possession. Who doesn’t like receiving a gift; it seems that everything is better and more exciting when it is wrapped up in a thoughtful surprise. I’m not sure your motivations behind reading this article, maybe you thought it was going to be a heartwarming Christmas article, maybe you saw it as you were scrolling through twitter, maybe you just wanted to check out the latest article by your favorite writer. I don’t know, whatever your reasoning is before you continue reading I want some excitement out of you; I need some emotion, and I need your best self to read the rest of this article. So here’s the plan. This article is my gift to you. Once you read the phrase “Merry Christmas” at the end of this paragraph, I want you to click the back arrow or the “done” button in the upper left corner of this page, and then click on the link to open the article back up pretending that there is some really cool Christmas wrapping paper around the link and a bow on top. Get that rush of excitement and open the link back up then pick up where you left off and keep reading! Okay, ready? Merry Christmas!

That was nice. Although it is nice to receive during the Holiday season, it is also very important to give. It’s great to buy gifts for your family and friends, but what about the people that maybe don’t have family and friends that can afford to give them gifts. Giving gifts to those individuals is a great way to improve the Christmas season for others in the community. But again it’s not all about gifts, sometimes just sharing your time and talents is the most important and most impactful. Our community is wonderful about giving to others and sharing their time and talents with the less fortunate, so I am not here to simply motivate but more to promote good ways to give during the holiday season. Here are some options.

1.) Salvation Army bell ringing: This is a Christian organization with a mission to live as Jesus did. It is a great opportunity to bond with friends, family, and strangers as you get to see the community give hard earned money to those who need it. According to the Salvation Army website “volunteers are the difference between an empty kettle and one that raises about $30 per hour – enough to provide a family with two bags of groceries or shelter an individual for a night.” Also, you get the feeling of nostalgia back to the elementary days of ringing bells in music class or on stage for a school Christmas concert. Sign up is extremely easy and there are not many sports left! Here is a link to the sign up:

2.) Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels provides for an opportunity to assist the seniors and the disabled in the Twin Cities area. There are many options for volunteering within Meals on Wheels: you can deliver the meals, volunteer in the kitchen, and donate money at an amount of your choosing as well. According to the Meals on Wheels website “with the help of Meals on Wheels programs, seniors and people with disabilities get the nourishment and human connection needed to support daily activities, while reducing the need for medical support”. Attached is a link to a form to being the volunteering process!

3.) Simpson House: On a day off of school you can often find a group of Holy Family students waking up before sunrise to drive down to the Minneapolis location to make breakfast for the homeless. The organization’s goal is to help the homeless find support, and shelter, including programs for kids that attempt to break the generational cycle of poverty. Simpson House has a message on their website for the citizens of this community: “Without our faithful force of volunteers, we quite simply would not be able to do what we do. We need your partnership to help ease the impact of homelessness on members of our community”. There are so many ways to volunteer here is a link to get involved!

4.) Adopt a Family: Some families are not as privileged as we are, so a great way to give during the holiday season is to “adopt a family or child. There are programs through churches, and the salvation army. It is easy, you learn about the child or family and buy them presents just like you would for your friends or siblings. It means a lot to these people that may not get many gifts otherwise. Here is a link with more information.

There are so many other ways to give and volunteer as well during the holiday season and into the new year as well. Your efforts do not go unnoticed, and you are greatly appreciated by all. Attached is another link with more options for volunteering and giving. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas, while spending time around loved ones.