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What We Can Give This Month

What We Can Give This Month

What is it about the holiday season that makes us take stock of what we are thankful for, become more generous, or more giving? Giving of our finances, our time, and our donations always increase this month no matter where we live. 

A Little History

Thanksgiving was modeled on the 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. But even this day of thankfulness wasn't celebrated across all of the US until 1863 when magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale lobbied President Lincoln for a national Thanksgiving Day to promote unity during the Civil War. It's a reminder that our nation has been divisive and fractured before and despite our differences we can come together and show our thankfulness.

Giving Back

Despite what the ads are already telling us, we don't have to spend to give this month. Last week I volunteered hosting a soup luncheon that raised funds in our community to prevent homelessness and to keep families in their homes in these upcoming winter months. By enjoying a soup lunch, our community raised money to meet the needs of so many. 

With snow in the forecast, I was getting our coat closet ready and discovered several coats that no longer fit my kids and ones my husband and I no longer wore. (Why is it we seem to accumulate so many coats?) I took the coats to our local alternative high school and they were thrilled to have choices for their students as the weather starts to turn cold. Not all students that go there need a hand, but a stylish winter coat helps many stay warm and feel good about what they are wearing.

Time to Host

A friend recently gathered several of us to enjoy a turkey and we all brought the trimmings. We've never been to or hosted a Friendsgiving before and I realized we haven't hosted groups of friends in our home in a while. We used to all the time and as our kids entered their teenage years it seemed to get harder, then the pandemic hit, and now we are out of practice. It is something to practice, to open our home to others, to invite those in so they aren't alone. I'll admit, it's been easier to focus inward and pull our family close but I've decided that needs to change this winter. Instead of hibernating all winter, I'm thinking of hosting a euchre night like we used to, a potluck soup night, or maybe a Valentine's fondue party. Making sure others aren't alone is a great way to give and show our thankfulness for those in our lives. What can you plan to do or where can you give your time to impact others this season?

 

Jennifer Smelker

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