|The Salvation Army logo (Anglophone Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well folks, it is no lie that my household has been turned upside down, backwards, and well just plain messed up over this past year. However, with all that has happened in my life it has made me think harder about what is important in life. Not to toot my own horn, but I have always had a passion for charity, heck that is why I started Adventures Among Us in a roundabout way, to give back to those who needed knowledge and ideas of cool things to do as a family.
Anyways with our boat rocking, or some days sinking, the kids and I have become more grateful for the things that we do have. No matter where we are in life, there is always someone that has less than us, and while our world was upside down there are others that did not have shoes to put on their feet, food to feed their children, and many other basic needs that we are well blessed with.
My first real HOLIDAY post of the season is a focused on places that GIVE BACK to the communities around them. While my kiddos have a Christmas list longer than the San Francisco Bay Bridge (which I must disclose will be narrowed down greatly) we also have a list of places that help those with a list of needs!
- Samaritian’s Purse Operation Christmas Child- my kiddos and I have packed shoe boxes for boys and girls several times over the past few years. Our GaGa, got us started on this project a few years back and believe it or not at the beautiful age of 94 she is still packing her shoe box. Operation Christmas Child sends shoe boxes filled with goodies, basic needs, and the Word of God to children all over the world. While it gives me great joy knowing some other little boy and girl is receiving a gift, it is a bigger joy watching my little man and sassy woman pack their shoeboxes with care and love! You can check out their websitefor more information on where to drop off shoeboxes, how to pack your shoebox, and even better you can follow your shoebox to the person that will be so happy you packed it!
- Support our Troops with theAmerican Red Cross- I think we all can say we admire, love, and support those brave men and women that sign to defend our freedom. However, if you are like me once they are out of sight out of mind you often forget the comforts they have left behind to protect our freedom. By accident, okay not really, but I was doing some research for something else I happened upon the Red Cross Support our Troops webpage, and folks there are so many ways you can give back to our Military Men and Women. Military Comfort Kits, Phone Cards so they can call home, and caregiver training programs that help teach those who care for our wounded soldiers when they come home. You can visit the Red Cross websitefor more information about how you can help.
- More than just the Red Kettle withthe Salvation Army - we are faithful in our house to dropping our change into the Red Kettles all over town and folks I am strong believer that every penny you give is a good cause. Last week while I was doing a little research on my own and snooping around on websites, I clicked over the Salvation Army’s more ways to give link. They have so many ways that you can give your time, talents, extra goods, and much more to those in need. If you are interested in seeing, where you can put yourself to either work locally or internationally check out their website for complete details.
- Toys for those Tots- with complete honesty here folks, while I attempt and work hard to teach my kiddos that material needs are not the most important things in the world, I cannot imagine my kids waking up without Christmas Gifts under the Tree. I think that is probably every parent’s biggest fear and every year many moms and dads face the challenge of either food or presents for their babies. Toys for Tots have been putting smiles on boys and girls faces since 1947 and are operated by the Marine Corps. You can visit their website for more information on how to donate and what is in need.
- Keep those kiddos Warm with Coats for Kids- you know those old coats, mittens, vest, hats, and well all that winter wear that is just laying around, grab them up and help another little person keep warm this winter. Coats for Kids Foundation has events all over the USA and many local ones, you can also directly donate to their foundation online, visit their websitefor more information.
- It Starts with a Gift and an Angel Tree- something that is foreign to me, but one of my faithful readers sent to me was a link to the Angel Tree Organization. This program is a prison fellowship program that helps connect parents in prison with their children through Christmas Gifts. While it may seem foreign to help someone that is in prison for who knows what reason, you have to think about that you are gifting to the child in the situation, and you are showing them that no matter what you have done forgiveness is always possible. I know I am a quack, but I believe everyone deep down inside has good in them and can be reached through kindness. For more information, visit their website.
Now before I leave you friends, I am going to take a moment to tell you that these are just a few ways you can give back to your community. While clicking through websites and making list of those places to that are super cool to give to I also saw ways that you can donate your unused airline miles, adopt military men or women to be your pen pal, send Christmas Cards to Veterans, donate pet food to help those who have pets, and the list goes on. If you have a special talent, idea, or gift that you feel on your heart to give don’t hold back give it. A gift from the heart no matter how big or small is the biggest gift we can give.
While our year has been topsy turvy, I feel so blessed to be able to not only give our gifts, but to also have the opportunity to share with our community ideas, stories, and the love that over flows in my heart.
May Each and Every one of you have a Blessed and Merry Holiday Season!
Becky & Her Rotten, yet Adorable Sidekicks