Friday, December 05, 2008

TCB--Opportunity #1

Angie, over at Poppy Joy, is looking for ways to "Take Christmas Back", by doing things that will help her teach her girls the real meaning of Christmas. They've made Verse Books with verses about the birth of Jesus, but also the hope and joy the world can have because of Him. They are making cards to send to an organization called Make a Child Smile, that features three children each month who are battling chronic illnesses.

My daughter is grown, and fully understands the meaning of Christmas, so my purpose is different, but the same. I mentioned I was going to try and come up with 25 ways to Take Christmas Back and attempt to do one each day. I'm a little behind, but I haven't forgotten nor am I giving up on this. While at the grocery store last week, I picked up extra items for the season: such as boxed stuffing, jarred gravy, biscuit mix, cranberry sauce, etc. and today I carried a couple of bags over to Interfaith Assistance Ministry.

When I got there, they were bustling! I could hardly get in the door. The man who took my bags to weigh told me the children from the local Catholic school brought 600 pounds of food just a little while before I got there! WOW! That rocks!

On the whiteboard above the computer are handwritten numbers--the number of people serviced each day. On Monday assistance was needed for 72 adults and 23 children in our county. The man told me he'd been volunteering there 5 years now, and this is the largest number of people he has seen IAM service. We have a lot of elderly in our county, as many people come here to retire, and lots of migrant workers who end up staying here after the apple harvest is over. Lots of unemployment.

I've noticed I get more requests in the mail for donations this time of the year than usual, I'm sure because organizations know to capitalize on the feelings of "good will towards men". And maybe because people are rushing to catch up on charitable donations for tax purposes. (Sorry, that sounded cynical, didn't it?) But places like IAM need donations year round.

So to take this one step further, I'm going to make a concerted effort to go through papers and magazines for coupons. Usually I only clip the products I need and toss the rest, but I could take the coupons and buy these items for food banks (they told me they can't use coupons). Then once a month I'll take the bags over to IAM, or some other food bank. I'm going to mark it on my calendar to remind me.

I'm going to close the comments for this post, because as much as I appreciate you stopping by, I'm not posting about this to get a pat on the back--I'm posting because Angie's got a great idea here, and I made a commitment to carry it out to the best of my ability. I haven't come up with 25 ideas, but I did list 15 I know I can do. And I find myself looking for opportunities to give or do more--which is what Christmas all about, right?