Extend this Season of Giving

I felt the urge to give this holiday season, possibly more than in my entire life. Some seasons are like that, more forgiving or more selfish, more giving or taking.

Whether trying to build a better relationship for the kids by modeling a good sibling relationships, or just being kind and serving others, my husband and I have decided this year we will try to “walk the talk”.

Here’s how we plan to extend this season of giving for our family:

Food: Food ministry is very important to me. Food is my love language and it pains me like no other to think that someone doesn’t have this basic need. In our area, we have the FISH ministry, KARM, and Second Harvest among so many others. All need donations and volunteers.

Clothing: Oh we are blessed. And so very blessed in particular with clothing. Hats, gloves, and coats are in short supply and I try to find a place to donate that distributes them rather than resells them. Our local elementary school is having a coat drive in January that we will participate in.

Shelter: Our area took a major hit this fall with wildfires. Gatlinburg is taking volunteers to clean up burnt structures and to help the distribution centers with all the many donations for those displaced. You can sign up for shifts at volunteerETN.org . Our church also works with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for someone, and Blitz Day is coming up soon.

Animals: We rescued a dog two years ago through a local small breed rescue organization, and we joke that we won the dog lottery. He was fostered with love, and screened to be good with children so we knew he would be a good fit for our family. There are so many rescue organizations and shelters that need money to buy food and vet care for the animals, and volunteer help to care for them. I’m not sure my husband will be up for another dog to foster, but we might create a service project for the girls that involves volunteering to walk and play with shelter dogs.

Prayers: Sometimes both time and money run short, but we can pray for those who have dedicated their lives to helping the needy, lonely, displaced, and hurt.

Our church is our main partner in finding ways to serve. Although a church sometimes makes it easiest to plug into service opportunities, discovering the needs of your local community might be as simple as asking your school principal, or googling “volunteer opportunities in Your City”.

Best wishes to everyone for a kinder 2017.

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