This Christmas you may find yourself surrounded by friends, family, food and presents to enjoy. If so, you are lucky. So many are less fortunate and do not have anyone to share the holiday with. They do not get presents to open or wake up tomorrow and snack on sweet treats. I am one of the lucky ones. I have two families to visit and no shortage of food to eat. But every year, after the wrapping paper is cleaned up and the dishes are all put away, I can’t help but feel empty.
The truth is that things do not make me happy, or feel fulfilled. I would much rather do something for someone else. Maybe I will go down the street and shovel the sidewalk for everyone, or volunteer my time to a worthy cause. It doesn’t have to be much, but when my kids see me giving back, it leaves a positive impression on them.
One day while on the way to our son’s lacrosse practice we came upon a man who was homeless. He had everything he owned tied up in an old winter jacket. On his shoulder hung a sleeping bag; dirty and torn from sleeping on the ground. I reached into my pocket and gave the man a few dollars. His jaw was visibly shaking as he thanked me. That day, two dollars bought something you can’t find in a store.
Recently, my daughter asked me for a quarter on the way to the store. I said to her that she would not be able to buy anything with a quarter, but she insisted. Upon walking up to the store front, my daughter put the quarter into a Salvation Army Kettle and smiled up at me. Best two dollars ever spent. So this Christmas, if you are looking to inspire your children or just feel warm and full inside, I am passing along a list of volunteer opportunities here. Either way, I hope everyone has an opportunity for togetherness this Christmas.