Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giving Back

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the idea of giving to others. I am incredibly blessed and fortunate to live the life that I do, and I really make it a priority throughout the whole year, not just during the holidays, to give back to others who need it. 

When my sister and I were younger we would actually organize our own toy drives. We would print up fliers and then pass them out around our neighborhood to explain that we were collecting toys for the Salvation Army. Even when I was little I could remember how good it felt when another toy was dropped off at our house, knowing that I'd get to give it to someone else who may have never been able to have that toy otherwise. 

Now, every year my family signs up through a local organization to buy gifts for a family that can't afford them. We are supplied with a list of things that the other family is in need of and then my family goes shopping and wraps all the gifts before delivering them to the organization that will take them over to the family just in time for Christmas!

Besides wrapping presents {I would gladly wrap gifts for days and days}, I love looking at the list and walking through various stores trying to find the perfect item that will fulfill the requests. Over the weekend I went shopping with my family and helped pick out some gifts. It felt so good to know that something so simple such as a Barbie or a sparkly shirt, things that I always took for granted, were what other people were looking forward too and that I could help give them that excitement on Christmas Day when they unwrap their gifts.

There are so many ways to help others this time of year:
- You could organize a drive of your own or simply donate to one that is being held. Toys for Tots usually has donation bins set up in several places and food pantries are always in need of supplies during this time of year. 
- Drop your spare change off in those famous Salvation Army red kettles that are interspersed throughout every town.
- Donate your time. Help out at a nursing home, tutor at your local elementary school or offer to walk and play with dogs or cats at an animal shelter. 

Take this time to remember how lucky you truly are!
Hoping everyone has a lovely holiday season,
Ellyse 

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