Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bell Ringers

Many people are spending less this holiday season due to economy worries. Last week at Bible Study our opening speaker (Karen) laid a challenge before us to remember that "scaling back" this holiday season does not have to and probably should not include cutting down on charitable giving. I know you are saying, "Whoa Sharon, don't blog a lecture; the economy is tough enough." Don't stop reading yet, I promise, No Lectures (just food for thought)!
So anyway, the speaker read off about 50 things that people could do this holiday season to serve and help others. I was moved by the suggestions she came up with. Some of the things were traditional and others were absolutely unique (at least to me). I am writing this post to remind you as I have been reminded, that it is vital to help others with both our checkbooks and our service.
Each of us can give to a charity in some way; we can buy a goat for a family in Africa, buy a toy for Toys for Tots, make a Shoe Box, or sponsor a child among many other things. But on a whole different plain, we can serve each other and the community around us too:
1. invite a family over for a meal
2. take food to a shut-in
3. rake leaves or shovel snow for someone who can't
4. play with the kids of a single parent to give them a break
5. work in a soup kitchen
6. deliver meals for a local organization
7. bake cookies for a widow or widower
8. sing carols at a nursing home
9. volunteer at the Humane Society
10. visit a site to find a volunteer opportunity that specifically suits you (ex: http://www.volunteermatch.org/ )
The challenge our family is embracing has 2 parts:
a. to do something over the holidays with BOTH our checkbook and our service
b. to find a way to make service more frequent

In addition to our choice for charity giving this holiday season, one of the things suggested at Bible Study that struck me as "do-able" is to stop every time we pass a Salvation Army Bell Ringer and empty our spare change into the bucket. I have never really given to the Bell Ringers so this is a new (and easy) way to show the kids that a little can go a long way and that no gift is too small. It really is a lot of fun to give and I want the kids to develop a habit of giving. What a way to do it...by giving a little almost every day.
May your holiday season be blessed as you bless others!Comment on the blog to let us know what other ideas you have for serving your community.


madre~ said...

"Giving a little, every day"....
translates to "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much..." Luke 16:10

Our grandchildren have wonderful parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jess said...

Awesome post Sharon!!
Totally agree!!
Like we say at church, "You can't outgive God."
Yep, finances are tough right now, but as He has shown me esp in recent weeks, He will be faithful to us if we are faithful to Him. We pledged monthly $ to friend missionaries, and it gets tougher to write the check every month. But God keeps giving it back to us in so many ways - weird ways like the ink cartridge lasting lots longer than it should in our printer!! What an awesome God!