by State & Pride Provisions Co. |
Every year around this time, as we're gearing up for the holidays and cold weather, we can't help but think of those in our community who lack the simple luxuries that we take for granted — a warm bed, a roof over our head, and knowing where our next meal is coming from. We think of all the ways, big and small, that, frankly, we can just be decent human beings.
It all boils down to one word . . . GIVE. Give your money, your talents, your time, your energy, your love. There are so many opportunities every day to help others. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Pay off someone's lay-away. We love this idea. A lot of parents are not in a position to pay for their family's holiday gifts all at once, so they pay them off over the course of several months. Many lay-away balances are a couple hundred dollars and working families often need to pay that out over several paychecks. What an amazing gift for a hard-working single parent or family trying hard to make ends meet, going to make their last layaway payment only to find that a Secret Santa paid it off for them! If you like this idea and want to help pay off a family's layaway, keep in mind that you'll have to do it several weeks before Christmas since most layaway programs end several weeks before the holidays.
2. Visit a nursing home. You're going to be old someday. Yes, even you, duck-lip selfie generation! Although we all think we'll grow old at home, surrounded by our loved ones, that often isn't how things work out. So many of our older generations are living in nursing homes. Even if you live in the nicest nursing home, it's not "home." Ask anyone who's ever worked in a nursing home and they'll tell you how much the residents love visitors! Particularly pets and kids! Why not get a group together to sing to the residents! Or do crafts! Or bring animal visitors! Or whatever - just go!
3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or deliver meals. Meals on Wheels is still our favorite because it helps so many shut-ins, including many disabled and elderly, who would, otherwise, not eat that day.
4. Volunteer to walk dogs or love on cats at the animal shelter. We're not sure who benefits more — you or them!
5. Give at the register. The easiest way to consistently help without breaking the bank is to give a little each time you shop. It really doesn't get any easier! A little from everyone really adds up and can do so much good!
6. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Our world probably needs this the most right now. In a world where everyone thinks they're right about everything, try to be the person who gives an open mind to those around you and who tries to see things from a different perspective. It's true that we're all more alike than we are different.