This is our second year donating items to local charities in lieu of having a big holiday gift-swap with our immediate family. From our perspective, it’s what the holiday season is all about; giving to others in need. Putting things in perspective, our families do alright for themselves. They have enough money for their necessities plus extra cash for “wants” as well as time to take vacations a few times a year.
A few years ago, we realized that our gifts were just the icing on the cake. That’s when we decided we wanted to make a difference with our gift giving. Last year, we opted to donate to a local toy charity. They collected thousands of gifts and helped hundreds of families. Sure, it was great donating to a well-known charity, but we didn’t get to see where our gifts went. Instead, we just had to assume they went to needy children and their families. This year, we decided we wanted a more hands-on approach.
Our goal this season: keep the homeless warm. We don’t live in a city where it snows all winter, but it definitely can get cold at night. We also had a few days of biting cold and wind which left people shivering in their boots. So our plan is to hand out coats, hats, gloves, and warm socks these next few weeks.
Here’s our collection ranging from children’s sizes to adults. Our first plan of action is to hit Skid Row with another group that hands out food each week night. Our second partnership is with a woman who works with a charity that provides birthday parties for homeless children. We’ll be gifting the hats and gloves. Finally, we have a stack of items in our car that we’ll randomly hand out to those that seem chilly and down-and-out.
Of course, we have to be careful who we deem as “needy.” Just the other day Mr. LH said, “That man looks cold.” As we slowed down to drive past him, we realized he had a tablet and was just smoking. No…not in need of a coat. Just taking a smoke break!
How do you celebrate giving?