Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tis the Season for Giving

I was in the middle of working on my Christmas wish list for my blog when I got a call from one of my cousins. She asked me if I was planning to go to Breakfast with Friends at my church again this month. Breakfast with Friends is a program at my church where every Sunday, a small group of volunteers come to feed the homeless breakfast.

Last year, I brought that same cousin and her 2 little girls there so that the girls can learn how to help others. She told me that she had recently told the girls not to expect anything for Christmas and explained to them what the true meaning of Christmas is. They should learn to help the less fortunate and just be grateful and thankful for what they already have. I still want to give them something for Christmas, so she suggested the Dollar Store, just not the Dollar Store in Union City. (About a week ago, a child was sexually abused at that Dollar Store.)

Needless to say, that small conversation made me think again about my own Christmas wish list. So, with that said, instead of creating a list of what I'd like to get, I was inspired to creat a list of programs/foundations that help others and that mean something to me. I may follow up with a list of gift suggestions too though. I love giving gifts to other people. I love it. This season should be about helping others and giving, not what we'd like to get.

  • Alameda County Community Food Bank - Help donate some canned food to those in need. I believe you can even purchase a bag of food at every Safeway that will go to the food bank.
  • Salvation Army - Help donate clothing, furniture & household items to those that need it.
  • American Cancer Society - Cancer tends to show it's ugly head in my family, so I love how the ACS  help people reduce their risk of cancer; provide free programs and services for cancer patients. 
  • Heifer International - I found out about this program through Foodspotting. Foodspotting is having a Holiday Spotathon. For every challenge completed in Foodspotting, they'll help donate a gift to a family in need. Heifer International basically allows you to choose a gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive. For example, you can choose to donate a goat to a family. That means the family can get tons of milk from that goat every day. They can make cheese, butter, you name it. This foundation is great! I am now obsessed with trying to food spot items in the various challenges.

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