Spread A Little Christmas Cheer ~ Locally ~ All Over Your Back Yard!

By
Real Estate Agent

 

It seems that right after the turkey gets cold we are hearing the familiar bell of the Salvation Army.  It reminds us that this is a season of GIVING as well as RECIEVING.

  • Some times you wonder when you see those kettles, or other groups vying for your donation dollars - How Many People Will It Really Help?


Over the years my Sister and I have supported various efforts only to find out how much of each dollar went to administrative costs.


This year my sister contacted her parish office and specifically asked if there were families in the parish who needed help.  Of course the answer was yes! 

  • In more affluent parishes whose members include highly paid professionals, the needy of the parish always have benefactors.  Our parish is less affluent with many older members on limited incomes.


We decided that adopting a family or two for Christmas was the best way to serve our community and channel our donation dollars.

  • No matter what your religious affiliation - contact a local church or synagogue office.  They know who in the membership is legitimately in need. Most church offices are trying to reach out to their members rather discretely to help families in distress.          It's like a giving tree, without the tree.


Giving TreeThe requests might make you cry.  One young man - (15 yrs old) - had one request for a dress blazer.  The local school system has a uniform code for daily wear.  When there are special programs or reasons to dress up they require the boys to wear blazer jackets.  This young man is an honor student.  He is embarrassed because he cannot afford a jacket and has to go to these events without one. 

                           This year - he will have one!

To us, nothing is more exciting than braving the holiday crowds filling someone else's wish list.  We have been known to get a little carried away.  If the child asks for a coat, we usually add a hat, gloves and scarf to the gift.  If they ask for one pair of pj's - we get two, or add slippers and a robe. 

  • Even though we do not know who the recipient will be - they become "OUR CHILD". With all the great sales going on - you bargain shoppers out there can really spread out those dollars.


I'm always amazed that the wish lists do not include frivolous items. 
The parents do not ask for anything for themselves. They do ask for toys for younger children - but usually nothing really expensive.  The biggest ticket item might be a bike.

  • People in financial distress and their children are asking for necessity items.  Not to say you can't throw in something in addition just for fun!  Passes to the local movie theater with a few extra dollars for popcorn would be a luxury for a family, and something they could not afford. 


Many churches also have a pantry.  Ours will take donations of food in the vestibule.  It's pretty easy to add some extra items to your grocery cart and drop them off to the church or pastor. 

  • Your gifts will go into the hands of someone who is less fortunate.  Someone right in your own back yard.  Every dollar you spend will be put to use.


Perhaps it has not been a good year for you.  Maybe your income was down from last year.  You still have so much more than the families who lost jobs this year.

PRACTICE LOCALISM - Reach out - locally to your community and touch a neighbor in need.  Being a Secret Santa will bring joy to your life, a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.

 

 

  • Our Century 21 office is having a Christmas party next week. Instead of a gift exchange we are using that money to donate to a local charity.  There are things you can do, no matter how small to reach out to the less fortunate in your community.


Please also remember the abused and homeless animals in your community. 

  • Thousands of animals have been left at shelters or abandoned by homeowners who have lost their homes during this crisis.  $10 or $20 can feed a couple of dogs or cats for a month. Food or a cash donation to these organizations will go a long way to helping those without a voice.

 

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Topic:
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Location:
Pennsylvania Lackawanna County Scranton
Groups:
Christian Mortgage and Real Estate Professionals
Silent Majority
"Whacked"!!!
Walking By Faith In The Rain!
Club Chaos
Tags:
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Rainmaker
1,259,096
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

Bonnie * I am providing funding for children at a local low-income housing project where I sit on the board of directors.....I am so surprised that "bell ringers" on the RIGHT COAST are actually paid.  On the LEFT COAST, various civic groups took terms bell ringing and challenged each other for largest donations * Why this has not transported itself to the Right Coast is beyond me...

Dec 07, 2009 11:25 PM #1
Rainmaker
244,734
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Wallace,  I do contribute to bell ringers.  My best friend was married to a man who was an alcoholic.  All treatment options failed.  He was taken in by the bell ringers and turned his life around. 

The other day at Walmart one guy was there playing Christmas Carols on his trombone.  You should have seen how full his kettle was.  He never approached a single person - just played her heart out.

Dec 07, 2009 11:32 PM #2
Rainmaker
383,599
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
Fractional Developer

Bonnie- Great post. We love the bell ringers here in Twin Falls. Even if you drop in a quarter it will help someone.

Wallace- They are not paid here in Idaho either.

Dec 08, 2009 12:07 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,911,536
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

May the Lord bless you on all of your undertakings for His sake !!!!!!!!!  Merry CHRISTmas  !

Dec 08, 2009 12:18 AM #4
Rainmaker
244,734
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Kevin,  Thank you.  I know they do a lot with the money they receive.  Jayne and I like to get a little more personal.  Since we do not give each other gifts - this is our way of sharing.

Dec 08, 2009 12:54 AM #5
Rainmaker
244,734
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Michael,  Thank you for the Blessings.  I accept them with gratitude.

Wishing you all of God's blessings for you and your loved ones.

Dec 08, 2009 12:55 AM #6
Rainmaker
565,685
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Bonnie - thanks for the reminder. This is the time of the year that we do tend to think of those less fortunate. We need to extend that thinking into the rest of the year. You have presented some great ideas.

Dec 08, 2009 01:22 AM #7
Rainmaker
219,039
Rob Proctor
At Home Real Estate Company - Loveland, CO
GRI ePro

Here in Loveland Colorado they are all volunteer. Mostly from local churches. I volunteered to bell ring this year and it was a great experience.

Dec 08, 2009 02:17 AM #8
Rainmaker
244,734
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Mike,  Thank you.  National organizations are important - but locally our donations can make a significant impact much faster

Dec 08, 2009 05:23 AM #9
Rainmaker
244,734
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Rob, that's great.  I'm sure you had fun.  I always thought the volunteers were members of the organization.

Dec 08, 2009 05:24 AM #10
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Rainmaker
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Bonnie Vaughan

CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
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