In the hustle and bustle of the season, some of us find it difficult to just stop, look and listen. There is so much around us every day that goes unnoticed. When was the last time you checked on your elderly neighbor to make sure he or she was doing okay? What about the family that lives across the street whose husband lost his job earlier this year...has anyone seen the lights on lately inside their home? Did you stop to talk to the young man you saw at church last weekend? You know the one I'm talking about...the one that was injured in the war overseas.
What am I really talking about here? I am talking about taking a minute or two of your time to think of someone else other than yourself. Christmas is suppose to be the season of giving, and not just giving a present. What better way to give than to spend time with those who might need someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on or just a helping hand.
I admit there might be some that don't take kindly to any forms of charity, but there is nothing wrong with lending a hand every now and then. And not just during the holidays either.
There were many years that I wasn't able to help, and I vowed when I was able, I would try to do something. There are so many worthwhile organizations out there that need a hand, it is hard to choose and the truth is if could, I would help them all. But this year, I had to make some tough choices. So here they are...
As a part of a work program, I will be contributing to the United Way and have asked to specifically have my donations given to the Valley of the Moon Children's Home Foundation. This organization is Sonoma County's only 24 hour shelter for abused and neglected children. I hope that I can make a difference in one child's life with my bi-weekly contribution.
The other organization that I feel is sorely overlooked is the Disabled American Veterans. I don't speak of this often, but there are a few members of my family that served in the armed forces at one point or another in their lives, including my dad. I feel it is important to remember their selfless act and honor them by supporting those who made it home but not in the same condition as when they left. The DAV is building better lives for America's disabled veterans and I couldn't be more proud to be supporting this group.
I grew up with a dog and to this day have fond memories of that little guy, Charlie, the Dachshund. We had our moments, especially when he bit my toes every night on the way to the dinner table. Despite everything, I still miss him and have always wanted to have another dog. Unfortunately our current home situation doesn't allow us to have pets, so I have chosen to help out those animals that can't fend for themselves because they have been left on their own without the love of someone who can care for them. Through the Rascal and Chloe Rescue, I have the opportunity to save a homeless dog or cat, find them a loving home and provide medical care to those that would not otherwise get treatment; all the while supporting the growing homeless dog and cat population. I hope that in some way, my small donation will help change the lives of these beautiful creatures who can't speak for themselves and really need the help.
These are three different organizations that will benefit from just a simple act of taking a moment of grace in my life and giving it to them. I am forever changed. Please join me in doing the same.
Wishing you all moments to stop, look and listen to those around you a sharing a moment of grace!
I've written this post for the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge, sponsored by the Casa De Hansen. Today's topic is A Moment of Grace based on the 7th Day of Christmas: "Seven Swans a-Swimming".