Donating to the needy might not be at the top of everyone’s shopping list, but that’s why physical reminders of the importance of giving are needed. Caught up in the commotion of our own lives, we can all use help overcoming the distractions and indifference that prevents us from helping to alleviate suffering in our communities.
For many of us, it’s a Thanksgiving tradition to drop a few coins in the Salvation Army’s red kettle outside our local grocery. It’s quick, easy, and has real impact – last year, more than $139 million was raised by red kettles to provide services ranging from hot meals to warm beds for homeless and impoverished Americans.
This year the need is greater than ever, with more than 44 million Americans on food stamps.
While you’re out doing your grocery shopping today or tomorrow, be on the lookout for stressed-out impoverished moms who don’t have enough money to buy good food, and slip them a five, a ten, or a twenty. It is not going to make a difference in your life-style. And when you see those worn-looking children in the cart, or hanging on the moms, be sure to compliment the mom on what a good job she is doing, managing her child in a crowded store in these times when money is so tight.
It’s difficult to give people money sometimes without them acting a little insulted. Here’s how we do it: We put money in five or ten envelopes, inside a little card. On the outside, we write, “To a good mom.” On the inside, we write “Here’s your bonus for being a good parent. Maybe you can buy something extra healthy for your child and you to eat. Happy Thanksgiving from Someone who cares..”
Then I say “Congratulations,” and slip away.
Pledge to do your part to fight hunger in your own community this holiday season. In giving thanks this week for what we have, let’s not forget to also extend a hand to those in need.
BE the change in your world.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.” Helen Keller