This morning on my way to work I was listening to the local rock station as I almost always do. Every year around this time they start up a “Hope for the Holidays” campaign in which they help out local people who are in need that aren’t able to get help through traditional charities. People can e-mail their story to the station and it is then read on air. Listeners then call in and offer what they can to help the person out.
This morning they had a single mom who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was going through chemo treatments. Due to the treatments she had to quit her job which then led to her getting behind on her bills. Her gas was shut off, which means no heat or hot water (and it is getting super cold today) and it has been that way for several months now. Plus she was a couple of months behind on her rent. She could have asked for a lot, but all she asked for was help buying some Christmas gifts for her 7 year old daughter.
Almost every time I hear one of the stories and the subsequent gifts offered I end up bawling my eyes out. What makes it so special is that the radio station isn’t just giving things away. Other people are calling in and giving what they have to people in need. Several people called in this morning saying that they could only give $20 but that they wanted to help.
Sometimes the cynic in me wonders if people take advantage of the generosity of others, but other times I am so touched that people out there really care so much for people that they don’t even know. Humanity never ceases to amaze me.
I wish that I had the resources to give. I wish that I could give like that all year, not just around the holidays. And the truth is I could, but I don’t. I know that I could spare $20 here and there, but for some reason I don’t do it. I might drop some change into the Salvation Army tin when I walk into a store, but that’s about it. My excuse is always that I need the money for my own family when really, I spend it on frivolous things that I know we could do without.
Zach’s Christmas gifts have all been purchased, but I have several more to buy for other family members. Most of those gifts will be bought on credit cards as we are already stretched as far as we can stretch at this time of year. We’ll spend the new year trying to pay off those charges as well as the rest of the debt we have collected through the winter months. We’ll make it. We always do somehow.
I guess what it really boils down to is that I’m feeling like I spend too much and don’t give enough to others. I would really like to change that. I have been very blessed in my life and I wish I could share a little bit of that with others.
there are other ways to give than just gifts and money. I once simply smiled at a homeless guy everyday. Sometimes I would stop to talk. Once or twice I bought him a juice or snack.
He once told me that the best thing I ever gave him was a smile.
We do the best that we can with the resources we have available to us. There is nothing wrong with putting you and your family first. At least you care, some people can’t even offer that.
This is something I stuggle with alot too. Money is always an issue but we always make it and are blessed, sometimes, more then I feel we deserve. I try to give back to other, not financially, but with a warm smile and helping hands. Sometimes that helps others more then we know.
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