The holidays always remind us that there are many many people in this world who are cold, hungry, and lonely. Whether it is a temporary hardship, or life circumstances, our hearts go out to others more during the holidays. A dear family we know has been having a hard year, and when I learned more details, I knew there was no way I could stand by and not try to help them. I started planning things I would make and shopping with my coupons and co-ops for things they might be able to use. Then I spoke with my parents about the cause. They spoke with my brothers, and our side of the family decided we would not exchange gifts this year, but would do some act of charity instead. This warmed my heart! The spirit of giving was alive, even in one of the toughest years our economy has seen in a long time. The amount of selfless giving I have seen this year has touched me deeply, and also reminded me that there are people who are hungry or in need all year long...there are people starving to death as I have a pantry full of food and the ability to run to any restaurant or grocery store for any craving I may have...there are children who would give anything for a simple cup of rice, something we throw away. I know I can't save the world from war or hunger. But it is certainly a cause that is on my mind quite often, and I've vowed to do what I can when I can. Every little bit does help.
I watched an episode on Letterman a few months back that just left me ...speechless.
"It would cost three billion dollars a year for the world to say no kid goes to school hungry."
Christmas Bonuses for Wall Street CEOs = $36 Billion
Watch the video to get all the details of what they can do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wOT-OtGKKc
Another worthy cause is Heifer International. This is a wonderful organization that works not only to feed the hungry - but to give them a way out of poverty. An example is that they provide sheep to a community and teach them to spin the wool - which gives these people a way to bring in an income to become self-sufficient. Really amazing organization.
My own mission was much smaller, but I know it touched hearts and eased a little bit of a burden. We were able to provide gifts to a family, some clothes, and paid a good amount on their power bill. I also sent off several of my chalkmats to other children who needed gifts for the holidays.
Whatever I can do, that is within my means, I will do.
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