As the cars zoom past going towards retail stores and daycares and homes this afternoon I wonder how many are on their last drop of gas. I wonder how many of them are hungry, and I wonder how many are worrying about how they are going to scrape together enough money to have a toy for their child this holiday season.
For as far back as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving was a girls’ family-fun day. We would all take the hour long road trip at 5:00 AM into the city to shop for Christmas gifts. This year was no exception. About halfway through the day, while shopping for gifts for my toddler, my mother mentioned she was going to buy a toy for a young child the same age as my daughter. Being the name was pulled from “the giving tree” at her place of employment, it may be the only gift the child may be receiving this holiday, and she couldn’t decide if fun or practical would be better.
I realized that I am very lucky to not have to choose for my daughter; she will have both—she will get too many things, and probably never know the hardship that the other family is experiencing, but at some point she will learn that she is lucky to have been born into a situation of comfort and will learn compassion for those who have less than she. She will learn that it is her responsibility and that of those like he to share her gifts and help others.
Here are five things we can do to help others during this season of giving:
- Donate food to the pantries and promise yourself that you will each month throughout the year. Food pantries need to be stocked during all seasons, not just around the holidays.
- Go through your clothing. There are many gently worn things in our wardrobes that could be donated and re-used by someone who is in need.
- Don’t forget about hats, coats, and mittens. Winter clothing items are in particular need at this time.
- Go through the toy box or play room and collect all of the outgrown toys that your children have long since used. That Tonka truck or Barbie doll could be loved by another child. Explain the concept of sharing these with a child in need.
- Take your family to serve dinner at a soup kitchen or to ring the bell for Salvation Army.
At Globe University-La Crosse, the Tonic Touch Massage Club is having a toy drive and bake sale on Monday, December 3, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The drive is benefiting the Jaycees Toys for Tots. For each new or gently used toy, the donor will be offered a 5 minute chair massage for a maximum of 20 minutes. Please join us in sharing the wealth this holiday.