What do you like the most about watching someone unwrap a gift you've given? The joy on their face? Their excitement over the gift? How absolutely cool you are for giving them something they desire? Giving gifts often feels better than receiving them. Giving gifts to people who just want to meet their basic needs feels even better and not only produces bigger, more emotional reactions, but has a much bigger impact, possibly changing lives. Not just the life of the recipient - your life as well.
While reading through Black Friday ads or making lists of the stuff you hope to give to people during the holiday season, please consider giving the gift of love, of support, of security, of knowing someone cares, to someone in need ... in addition to, or instead of, your usual gift.
I am blessed to be witness to two wonderful and powerful holiday giving programs this year: Mindful Village's Holiday Helpers Project and Momastery's Holiday Hands ministry. The essence of both of these is love.
Mindful Village is a non-profit organization that strives to build a nurturing community for families and individuals who practice conscious, compassionate parenting and informed natural living choices. They help families in need in their community have food, fuel, and fun for the holidays by collecting gift cards to gas stations, grocery stores, and department stores and by purchasing gift cards through Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) and monetary donations received via mail (3203 Autumn Chase, Ellington, CT 06029 ) to distribute to these families. Their Holiday Helpers Project is a simple, but effective way of providing families with peace of mind and a joyful heart for the holiday season.
Momastery is a wonderful blog and a community of women who uplift each other in countless ways. The Holiday Hands ministry connects people in need with people who can help, and miracles happen. Angels swoop in, filling requests as simple as sending a get well card to as heart-wrenching as helping to pay for a funeral or a medical procedure. And all of this by Thanksgiving. And all of this because Love Wins (Monkee mantra ...don't know what a Monkee is? Visit Momastery!).
Please give someone some holiday help this season...and may your generosity encourage your soul for the year to come.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. ~Maya Angelou