PRESENT GIVING IS WONDERFUL, BUT THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF BEING GENEROUS

BY FRANK BENNETT

Of course, at this time of year, most of us get caught up in the gift purchasing frenzy the joyful but still obstacle-strewn adventure of picking out the perfect something for people we love and care about. And it is amazing to be in a position to put a smile on another person’s face with a beautiful item, large or small…to be blessed in this country as we are with relative prosperity and having the resources to do so.

This beautiful season also makes us mindful of advancing goodwill and love to mankind, and is an opportunity to recognize and help address the fact that there are brothers and sisters walking beside us every day without the basic necessities of life, and we might never know it.

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So, this December (and after), consider taking a moment to slow things down and extend your heart to people you might not normally engage. Get to know someone, explore their needs, and that need might be as simple as companionship. You may find that a cup of hot cocoa and a conversation might be the best gift someone has gotten all year. How about picking up the tab on a bag of groceries for an elderly person or someone else in line at the supermarket who looks like they’re struggling? And in the realm of low-cost/no-cost giving, the next snowy morning, shovel snow for an older couple down the street, and/or o er to volunteer at a nursing home for an afternoon of chatting with residents. You can also call and invite an old friend who you know has had a tough time to have coffee or tea, or simply look someone in the eye and express admiration, and that you’re here to listen if an understanding ear is needed.

Be courageous: is season brings so much joy to so many, but can be the most lonely time of year for others. So, give the gift of God’s love and touch someone’s heart by simply being there, seeing him or her, and making someone feel like they still count.

Give the greatest gift of all, love. Have wonderful holidays!

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