What do the holidays mean to you? Family time, delicious food, buying, wrapping and exchanging gifts, parties, festivities? Rather than send cards, we post pictures, view holiday commercials , listen to holiday music, watch others loading up carts at the supermarket, as well as malls. But what if you didn’t have anything? No tree, no food, no gifts for your children. The holidays would be all about how to survive, not thrive. For some the gift of a toothbrush, or feminine hygiene supplies, or pjs is as meaningful as a Peloton bike.
I am privileged and honored to be part of an initiative of helping a family in need to brighten their holiday through kindness, love, sharing and caring. The power of a simple request from a colleague who was made aware of a family in dire need rallied an online group to come together to help them have a happy holiday.
Part of the joy of the holidays is the joy of giving without expectations by helping others. Giving of our time, resources and heart is a great start. Putting a smile on a face. Instilling hope. In a season that is all about opulence and indulgence we tend to forget about the 50% of the population that lives paycheck to paycheck. Forty two million people in the US struggle with food insecurity. This is not about a sumptuous holiday meal, it is not being able to afford to consistently purchase foods that provide the necessary nutrients for health and well-being. And the need extends beyond food to other necessities such as such as toiletries, feminine hygiene products, shoes, clothing, pet food and cleaning supplies. This is more than a handout , it is a movement the goal is to end the shaming and start instilling the dignity and the possibilities.
Let’s embrace the gift of giving, not just receiving. Experiencing gratitude from joy on a family’s faces when they see a tree with gifts underneath. Deriving pleasure from knowing that we can be a part of the wonder and delight from opening packages and tasty bites. Acting with kindness and compassion through giving on and giving to especially to those who find themselves in difficult situations through no fault of their own. We live in a world that operates at a fast pace, too much food waste, and excess material goods. How can we share the wealth and bring dignity and happiness to those with much less?
This community of stealth elves united to provide toys, crafts, winter clothing and gear, essential hygiene products, gift cards, kitchen supplies, art sets and pet food for a family in need. These simple gestures eased a mother’s fears that she would have nothing to give to her children and instead gave her hope that there are nice people in the world. “These three children witnessed kindness, hope and love because of 17 people from around the United States. Most importantly, they feel valued and seen which will transform how they view themselves and our community.” Clancy Harrison , president of the West Side Food Pantry, Kingston, PA.
We can provide the gift of support, respect, and understanding. Boosting others selflessly and stealthfully as we unite to make the holiday lights shine bright for those we help as well as ourselves.
It truly is a far greater gift to give than receive. Let’s share, let’s care, let’s be aware of those who would appreciate the gift of compassion and give others the gifts of comfort and joy of this holiday season.