At this time of the year, you see so many gracious and kind hearted people volunteering to raise money for so many organizations that help the poor, sick and needy worldwide.
Whether I go grocery shopping or to the mall, I recognize the same faces each year. These wonderful volunteers want to make a difference by giving their time and hoping to help raise awareness of just how much help these organizations need in order to help the world's less fortunate.
Last year, as I was finishing my Christmas shopping, and heading towards the exit, there was a large booth set up, and while I cannot remember the name of the organization, I stopped to look at the brochures and to speak with one of the volunteers. As I was looking through the brochure, what caught my attention was a heading that read "Buy Two Chickens and a Rooster and You Will Make a Woman Self-Sufficient in Africa".
As I read the description and spoke to the woman, I knew that my donation was going to help a single mother in Africa with several children, become independent and self sufficient. She would be able to sell the eggs at the market, while also having her chickens "procreate" for the growth of her business. With time, she would also be able to sell chickens at the market.
That was truly a remarkable experience and I intend to look for the same booth this year at the mall.
While for some people, giving a financial donation is difficult, especially during these hard times, you can also donate your time and brighten someones day.
My son has befriended a blind elderly lady at an old age home not too far from our house. Cameron absolutely enjoys his time with her because she has so many stories to tell and he makes her laugh. God bless her, because she lost her sight from a stroke that she had, but her mind is sharp and she enjoys the companionship those few hours each week. He is making a difference in her life and will continue to visit her long after the holidays are over.
At Christmas time we are reminded of how important it is to remember, to give, to help, to reach out, to make a difference in some one's life. My life is so blessed and I give thanks to God everyday for my blessings. While I give to more charities during the Christmas season, I also give year round when anyone asks for a donation and have instilled the same values in my children.
Last winter, my husband and I had a date and went downtown. Before we left, my daughter Julia reminded me that if I saw a homeless person that I should buy him/her a cup of coffee. She knows her mother too well. That evening when we came home, the first thing she asked me was if I bought a coffee for a needy person.
I went on to say "Julia, there were two gentlemen lying on the cold sidewalk in sleeping bags and I bought them both a warm breakfast" and that both gentlemen said "God Bless You". She was overjoyed that I helped not one, but two homeless people.
Yes, children certainly emulate their parents, but I must confess that there have been a couple of occasions when I have had to tell my daughter not to be that kind hearted...like the time she gave away her brand new Littlest Pet Shop Toys, to her friend because "Mommy, she liked them", or the time her other friend was coming down the stairs clutching a $20.00 bill, "Julia gave it to me".
God love them.....