During the Christmas season our mailboxes are full of mail asking for donations to help multiple worthy causes. We see the bell ringers with the red pot, asking for donations. Sometimes we feel sad that we can’t donate to them all. Every year I try to pick two or three different ones from the previous year, which really stand out in my mind or heart.
Cash Register Charities
During the year it is not hard to donate a dollar or two at the cash register during various drives to raise money for different charities. Doing this makes me feel good that I can at least contribute in small ways to worthy causes.
Have you ever noticed how someone responds when they don’t want to or can’t donate to a charity when asked simply, “Would you like to donate to ….cause?”
Sometimes people are in a hurry; sometimes they are just tired of being asked to give money they just don’t have. Some reply, “Sorry, not today,”or “I already donated today.”Some begrudgingly or gladly from whatever motivation, chip in some money to help out.
Sometimes when I approach a stop light I see a homeless, jobless or destitute person asking for help. I have a giving spirit for those unfortunate people. I have been told it is polite and kind to nod, smile or wave at them rather than ignore them, or give them a dirty look.
Usually I listen to my head and heart to decide what is best to do. Often I just smile at them to acknowledge them or get something for them to eat or on a few occasions I had an extra pair of gloves or cap to give them to shield them from the cold or sun.
The other day I encountered an ingenious and effective way to acquire donations. Across from the front of a local box store, a man played an accordion to some source of music that looked like a record player. He played a variety of music and he played well.
Heartwarming Secret Santa
A few years ago, on CBS News, I saw a very inspiring example of how giving affects us. Every year a Secret Santa gives out hundreds of hundred dollar bills to those he sees are in need. This year he did something different.
This year he approached a homeless man, Moses Elder, on the streets of Phoenix, Arizona. He was given $3000 to give out hundred dollar bills “to whoever he saw fit.”
Mr, Elder took the job gladly. He was surprised and thrilled to be able to help others in the Secret Santa’s place. He stood on the street with a sign and would speak to people.
If they responded to him he told them he had something for them for their kind heart and handed them one or more hundred dollar bills. So many were shocked and overjoyed that they had much needed money to help pay for Christmas or bills, or whatever was needed.
One recipient of several hundred dollar bills said he didn’t have any money to buy Christmas presents for his children. When Mr. Elder gave him the money, the man’s eyes filled with tears as he expressed his gratitude.
Mr. Moses Elder said at the end of the video that this was the beginning of a new life. Giving was truly better than receiving.
It is a beautifully enlightening, and worthy story to see and hear. Here is the link for that episode.
The truest and best gifts are the gifts given freely and without expectation of a reward or return. Enjoy your time with your families. Share gifts with others. Think of those who are in need. Donate or at least smile and acknowledge those in need. Do what you can to help others. Be kind to animals too. Many of us have so much; why not give to help others.