GIVING IS CONTAGIOUS
I’m not saying work just to make life easy on a lazy, unproductive generation. Young families are far from that. Generally, both parents have had some college, are working, juggling schedules and paychecks to make things work. It would just be so nice for someone to reach out once in a while, no strings attached and drop some money or gift cards for Back to School clothes, or supplies. Perhaps we could provide piano lessons for an aspiring little talent. I gave piano scholarships to several students over my career. Whatever we can contribute, we gain new purpose and satisfaction in our abilities to be part of the solution.
For example, when our girls were grown, married, and in their own homes, I really had no need to continue working. My income became pretty much play and travel money. Then, I discovered how fun it was to be able to take orders for backpacks and school supplies from my hard-working little Nail Technician and drop off full, colorful school supplies to her children “exactly the ones they wanted!” Many times I’ve delivered items to a church or office staff for someone. They never knew who bought it for them. That’s more comfortable for me, personally. Sometimes we can order online and have something delivered right to their door.
FAMILIES OF TERMINALLY ILL
Ask parents suffering through terminally ill conditions to email pictures of the exact Christmas or Birthday list for each child. Interestingly, I have never had to provide everything on each list. When other friends or family members hear what “someone” is doing, they begin chipping in on the deal. Giving is a very contagious activity. You never have to look too far to find someone who would really appreciate occasional assistance.
FLUFF IT UP! POLISH IT OFF! PASS IT ON!
So many of our talents and skills can be refreshed, polished up, and shared. Whether you need to charge fees or offer services as a volunteer, you are engaged in solutions for young families. Anyone from the medical or education profession could provide one or two days a week for child care, or tutoring and study skills. After school programs provide a protected environment for individuals to provide classes for piano lessons, Science fairs, Young Astronauts, Creative Dramatics, or Reading skills. Whatever you did well, whether professionally or as a hobby, you could still contribute to the community. Most programs change several times through the year, so you commit to just what works for your schedule.
More than ever before, we have opportunities to wrap around the needs of teachers, children, and their families. More than “Paying Ahead,” we can be curing the diseases of selfishness, criticism, and apathy. The best part is that struggling families are not often picky about the age or perfection of those reaching out to them. They are often just thankful that someone was paying attention and stepped in for them.
Let’s Start the Holiday Giving Season as a Year-Round Contagious Activity!