It seems like the holidays are all about money. In addition to the normal buying of food and presents for family and friends that are gathering, organizations and businesses are always looking for extra donations at this time of year.
I’ve never completely understood this. Yes, I tend to feel more generous during the holidays, but I’m also more strapped for cash than, say, in April when there is less going on.
That said, there are several events/opportunities coming up that I’m planning to support and I want to share with you. Remember, you don’t always have to give money. Sometimes you can give time or silent auction items (this is what I’ll be doing). Sharing information can also make a difference.
We began going to Hiawatha church the week after Jeff had a stroke at work. Although we have never met him, we have seen the impact he has had on our new church family, and on our neighborhood. If you’re in the Minneapolis area on Sunday, head over to Hiawatha Church from 3-6 for the marketplace and benefit.
Blood:Water Mission has been fighting the AIDS and water crises for more than 10 years. This year, they are working to build AIDS clinics. You can sponsor medical supplies, family medical care, HIV care for a child or even a doctor.
I became familiar with Emergency Food Network while I was working at Whole Foods. Every Whole Foods raises money for local food banks during the holiday season. When I was in Tennessee, it was 2nd Harvest. Here in Minneapolis, EFN supports more than 200 food programs throughout the state.
A few years ago, I wanted to volunteer to serve meals at a shelter around the holidays. However, time isn’t what they need right now. Food shelves and shelters need money. Businesses, churches and families come out of the woodwork to volunteer for the holidays, but as the weather is colder, and people are trying to decide whether to buy food for themselves or Christmas presents for their children, these places really, really need resources. If you don’t want to give a check, go to the store and buy a bag of non-perishables. Participate in Toys for Tots. Think of the physical needs that people have during this time of year, and try to help out in tangible ways.