If there's anything I try to teach my kids it's this: We are here to help each other.

Perhaps with money, often with time, and always with love, we need to be there to help and support each other.

Giving money can be helpful, but usually only solves part of the problem.

Giving our time to others can be incredibly helpful. Lending a helping hand to a friend or a stranger makes everyone feel better.

Giving our love to others is priceless. Showing someone that you truly care about them is helpful in any situation.

It is my experience that some people who prefer to give only money and not time and talents as well generally tend to see value more in things than in actions, more in vacations than volunteerism, more in passtimes than in people. They give money, and leave it at that. Don't get me wrong, the money is greatly needed, but they could give so much more - and get so much more in the process. They miss out on so much!

There is a disconnect when you donate money without any physical involvement in the charity or organization. You don't meet the people receiving the help, and you're not one of the people helping someone's day be a little brighter. Seeing the impact of your donation of money, time, or effort is valuable beyond measure.

And so my family arrives early to help set up. We stay after to help clean up. We find ways to put our time and talent to good use for the benefit of others. We invite others to experience the same joy we do when we're giving. We help. We pray. We hug. We smile. 

And we get so much more than we give!

God, please be with the givers. Help them to give from the heart, with their time, their talents, as well as their money. Please help us to help those in need ... and help those in need to receive joyfully, without guilt, knowing they are giving others the opportunity to give, and that they someday can pay it forward. Thank you for talents and spiritual gifts that help us to be of service to others. And thank you for the givers in our lives who have helped us more than they can imagine over the past year ... and for those who set the example of what true giving is all about so that we may follow in their footsteps.


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