The Gift of Giving

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 Natural disasters that can challenge the fortitude of the human spirit. Witnessing these disasters in person and through the multitude of media coverage can at times make one feel helpless, that there is so much need one person can’t possibly make a difference. It can be especially trying whilst trying to reconcile your feelings of wanting/needing to help those that are in serious peril and then celebrating the season. It can be a real internal pull. How much is too much—presents, parties, décor? How little is too little—will the one box of non-perishables really make a difference? How to help, how to go on.

Luckily we have seen through media and first hand, communities come together, people helping one another in the direst of circumstances and that by proxy inspires us to be our best selves to help and encourage those who are less fortunate. These disasters have shown the best in people in the worst of times.

This holiday season, instead of feeling guilty at how much you have instead try a different stance, and alternative mind-set, instead try the completely random notion that you are lucky. Natural disasters know no geographical or socioeconomic boundaries, they strike indiscriminately. It is a far assumption that those with challenging lives already are hit the hardest in terms of recovery, and here is where the help is required. This holiday season do some research into ways that you can give back, and go a step further than serving meals at homeless shelters (this is needed still), create a care package for a family in hit by a natural disaster, give dog/cat food, blankets, and funds to animal shelters in the hardest of hit areas. Do all you can to help those who will not be having the type of holiday season that you are. And then, when you have done that you can, know that you have helped, cared, and are aware of the global suffering that is going on. And then as you sit around your table with friends and family—a bounty of food, drinks, and presents—know that you have helped those who are in need. Know that you, for this year are lucky. Lucky to be able to help.


Ways to Give:

The Salvation Army 

Each holiday season the Salvation Army amps up its fundraising efforts to help support the elderly, the homeless, and other underserved populations. Find out how you can get involved with the Salvation Army’s work to offer aid to those in need.

Toys for Tots

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects gifts for children who come from economically disadvantaged families. If you don’t have a drop-off center near you, consider starting your own. Find out how you can get involved here.

Angel Tree

Angel Tree helps people in prison give their children gifts during the holiday season, to help ensure these separated families maintain a strong connection.

My Two Front Teeth

Not sure what to give to charity this year? My Two Front Teeth helps you figure out what to donate by posting requests from charities, preschools and day care centers. Find out more here.

And for other charitable inspirations: