Wednesday, December 3, 2008

~The Luckiest~

It's that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to 'gift-buying'. This year will be a meager one for many people because of the state of the economy, not only here, but around the world. With people out of work, so many foreclosures on homes and businesses.....we are in a recession. There. I've said it. The government is afraid to....but ask the people it's affecting: the family man who was just laid off and doesn't know how he's going to tell his wife and kids; the single mother-of-four-under-ten who doesn't have enough money to feed her children, let alone for presents; or the 92-year-old man who has let his prescriptions lapse or is taking only 'halves' of pills because he can't afford to take the recommended dosage he REALLY needs.

If you are reading this, you have a computer. Internet services. A job. You and I are members of 'The Luckiest'. We don't worry about where our next meal will come from. If we will keep the warm, heated roof over our head. We have a car. And money for gas. We have clothes and shoes. A warm place to sleep at nite. We are certainly members of 'The Luckiest'.

Last year, a friend made a comment about seeing a very cold, Salvation Army Bell-Ringer standing in the freezing cold, ringing that bell for money for the poor. She bought a hot chocolate for her. The woman was very grateful. Because of her, I never pass one of those Bell-Ringers without bringing them back hot chocolate. The last one had tears in her eyes and said no one had ever been so thoughtful. It's the little things like that. It certainly didn't cost much. Just time and a bit of effort.

My mother's assisted living facility has a Christmas tree in the lobby that has ornaments with names of the elderly in our area that are in need of things like clothing, toiletries, etc. It's called "Be A Santa To A Senior". One of the ones I picked up is for slippers for Edward, size 11. I bought him a nice pair of black cozy Deerfoams for Men, and will wrap them today and take them there with the other gifts I'm donating. Our church has a Giving Tree with names of people who are in need of things like gas for their cars, prescriptions to be filled, warm gloves, etc. There is Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, Womensafe, etc. Choose one...or several. Our county's Social Services has names of families in need of many things. A group of my friends here pick a name and make sure the family has everything for a spectacular Christmas: presents, warm clothing, Christmas Dinner.

So....I'm posing the question: What will YOU do to give back this year?? . I'd love it if you'd come back here and post a comment telling what you will do. I think it will be a great inspiration for all of us.


Suldog said...

I always drop something in the Salvation Army buckets, every time I pass one, but I never thought about doing something personal for the ringer. Great idea, and I'll try to do something like that this Saturday when I go grocery shopping. There has been the same ringer outside the grocery for three weeks now. I always drop something in the bucket, but this time I think I'll remember to bring him a nice hot chocolate. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

Liza said...

every year, hubs and i choose one or two homeless families. we have a lot of that back here. i set aside food that we're having for xmas dinner. hubs and the kids are in charge of bringing them the food.

Moms... check nyo

Ballerina Girl said...

Hi Carol
Yea, you are back on my bloglist! I couldn't remember your address and when I was trying out new backgrounds I lost all of my blogger friends...but now you are back!

I love this post. It is so true...we live in a country that has so many impoverished people...children on the streets, mothers as young as 12 walking with a child in arms up and down the hills, .... it is very sad. This year I have sponsored a child from church, buying them clothing, shoes....
I always give away things from my own kids to my maids to give out to either their families or those that they know.... I so wish that I could do more and is very hard.
Every little bit helps though...
it is the season of GIVING

Carol said...

Suldog...I think it's such a ood idea! Let me know the reaction you get.

Liza...You're teaching your children already, about giving back!

Hi Ballerina Girl! It must be very hard to watch all the poor there. We're SO lucky. Sponsoring a child is a great idea. I have to look into that. I think Jodi has photo of the little boy she sponsors. I'll ask her about it. It's so good to see you here!!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Whether we have a little or have a lot we still have something to give! I love the hot chocolate idea...people really don't think about the actual ringer. I will have to do that this season!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog. Yea, I wouldn't recommend Water for Elephants unless you enjoy being sad....also, the subbing thing: I like the freedom, but since I have teaching experience, it's more frustrating for me not to have my own class. But, you do what you can.

naturline said...

Thanks for the feed.....I love your blog and you!!

NotJustaMama said...

I signed up to be a scrapbooking consultant. A big part of that reason is that they donate to Operation Smile. On the consultant website they also have tons of forms you can use to have an Operation Smile charity event in your community, which is something, without the forms and all the help they offer, I would have no idea how to run a charity event. So I'm really excite about it.

Carol said...

Nancy...Thank you! I don't intend to read it. Too sad!

Naturline...Right back at cha!

NotJustaMama....Good luck with your consulting! I had heard about Operation Smile before. What a great organization for a good cause. Here's the link:

Anonymous said...

You're right; we are so very lucky. It takes someone else's misery to make us realise.

Lovely post, very heartwarming and thought-provoking.

CJ xx

CIELO said...

I want the gift of acceptance and peace for the world... to the world. ;)

Love and blessings


Mommy said...

We usually buy presents for the "Christmas Store" a place where inner-city kids can bring a dollar and shop for presents for their whole family. I bring the kids with to help choose what we give.

I always buy extra hats and mittens and put them on mitten trees around town - a few dollars at Cub or Target can buy plenty of those!

And I always put my change, or a dollar, in the bucket when I have it.

Times are really tight for us all. But, I try.

Carol said...

Crystal...Thank you. You're right in that sometimes it takes us to really look at others' misery to let us know how lucky we are.

Cielo....That would be wonderful. I wish it were as easy as 'wishing' it!
Let's hope the incoming administration can end this war soon.

Carole said...

Thank you for this post reminding me how lucky I am and how important it is to help others. Great post.

Sandi McBride said...

What a wonderful idea to help those who need it the most. Thanks for the idea...I'll pass it on to those here who help.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Carol,
What a wonderful idea the giving tree is! I agree that we are very fortunate and I give back every year too...
Since we have lived here in Brasil we give donations of food, clothes or money each year to a childrens home that houses and educates street children who are either orphaned or abandoned.
These children get excited if they are given a new blanket or a new t-shirt, it breaks your heart.

Last year, just before Christmas, we bought a new computer and monitor so instead of selling the old one, or giving it to a friend, we took it to the childrens home so that they could have their first computer and have the opportunity to learn.
Their little faces were a joy to see that day - all so happy and excited to see what we had brought them. x

Carol said...

mommy...I believe that the more of a hardship it is to give, the greater the blessing. It will come back ten-fold.

Carole...You're welcome. I think we need to give each other as many reminders as we can. It's what it's all about, isnt' it?

Thanks, Sandi!!

Brit...Giving the children's home your old computer was brilliant! Keep it up! I can't imagine how heart-breaking it must be to see children go without the necessities of life we all take for granted.

Lemon Shortbread said...

how true, we should always remember to be content, and to live within our means. even if we complain of not having enough material items, we have more than the majority of people in the world who have it much worse. we have food to eat, shelter over our heads and healthy enough to work (even if we have no jobs)!

Patti said...

Carol, I love this blog entry, especially this year, when times seem much harder on everyone, but people are still finding ways to give. We are going to a children's hospital next week to give toys to children with heart conditions. We're bringing Santa along too (a dear friend who has a heart of gold and also loves the chance to be a ham!). Can't wait to see the smiles and spread the joy a little bit!!! I love hearing about little ways to spread the joy during the holidays - thanks for writing about it, Carol!

Margaret said...

What I did this year was be on the look out for a family in need. Our Church has a giving tree also, and there is no problem getting givers. This year our family gave gifts to a single mom and her 3 children. I dont know much about her daily life, but know she has come from a tough background and wanting a different life for her kids. It felt so good to 'wait' until I knew who I should give to. It would have been so easy to pick a name off the tree, run to the store and think nothing of it again. Thankyou to others for your ideas.