Last Saturday I was in my local coffee shop, sitting with friends and discussing how we can solve all the world’s problems as we do every Saturday, when the topic of volunteering and giving came up. Alot of my friend’s are in motorcycle clubs who put on rides to support large agencies/groups such as St. Jude, Feed the Children, American Cancer Society and so on. I myself am a long-time American Red Cross Disaster and Family Services volunteer and in the past few years (since my cancer diagnosis) my husband and I strongly support the American Cancer Society and the Relay For Life.
So…back to our conversation…it was brought up that support of large groups was admirable but we should also look to our own local community for opportunities to assist that may be overlooked. I understand this is CFC season and I’m not trying to take anything away from that; what we were talking about was really going out and looking for opportunities to HELP in your local communities, rather than just donating money to a larger organization that may or may not put some of that money back into our local area/people.
Suggestions were made to visit nursing homes and take sugarfree cookies and candies around Thanksgiving and Christmas, because so many people there don’t have family or friends come by to visit them anymore. Getting with a church or other organization and adopting a family (or two) for Thanksgiving or Christmas for the meal and presents. Visit the people in the hospital over Thanksgiving and Christmas, the older people, terminal patients, some that may not have anyone visiting them…the nurses can tell you who they are! Making blankets for the local chemo center (believe me, they would love homemade blankets!) Donate to the local food bank. If you live in a small town, perhaps you don’t have a food bank…maybe start one! Volunteer at the local “Soup Kitchen” or whatever they call it in your town or city.
I hope what I’ve suggested gives someone some ideas. If you come up with better ones, please add them…I’d love to hear them. In this time in our economy we need to help each other, reach out to those less fortunate and give our fellow man a hand up to get back on his/her feet when we can.
“True charity is the desire to be useful to others without thought of recompense” – Emanuel Swedenborg