Happy Monday! Here’s an easy question to start off your week: do you believe in giving to those less fortunate?
My guess is that almost everyone reading this would answer “yes” to that question (which is one reason why I love you all!). I certainly do, but unfortunately, I don’t have the unlimited financial means to donate as much or as often as I would like. But I got to thinking…
It was just over two months ago: I found myself getting caught up in planning for the upcoming holiday season (and all the social events that go with it). The holidays are so magical, and I love getting to spend time all of people I love so dearly. Even though we all complain about being so “busy”, I think we could all admit that having so many people in our lives worth running around to see is truly a blessing. So, why not make giving to those less fortunate a part of all the festivities? Why not help others while spending time with those we love? Why not party with a purpose?
My idea was simple: pick a charity and request that party-goers bring an item to donate. Since my sister was the first to host a holiday get-together, I brought up the idea to her. Thankfully, she was on board (which didn’t surprise me even a little bit – my sister has the biggest heart in the world). For her party, Kendall asked guests to bring an item that would be shipped to a child in a third-world country, as part of a program at her church. With all the items people brought, she was able to send care packages for TEN children. Even though the individual items in the packages weren’t overly expensive (pencils, toothpaste, small toys, etc.), it would have been a substantial financial investment for one person to buy all that. But as a group, each individual didn’t have to spend much to make a big impact.
The success at Kendall’s party got me really excited to try this out at my book exchange party. I asked my guests to bring one item for a homeless shelter in Akron (for example, canned food, clothing, personal hygiene products). I must have extremely caring people in my life because these ladies not only brought one item for the shelter, they brought enough that I had EIGHT TIMES more items than people who came to the party. In addition, I gave them the option to leave their un-exchanged books as a donation. It shouldn’t come as a shock that every single person opted to donate their leftover books. Together, these wonderful woman donated over 50 books to another non-profit organization near and dear to my heart: the Akron Public Library system. Both the Haven of Rest and the library were so thankful for these generous donations.
I truly believe that the vast majority of people in this world want to help others. So my ask of you is this: when planning your next party, please consider partying with a purpose. You really would be amazed at how much good can be done while enjoying the company of your friends and family. What may seem like a big deal to one person is much more doable for a group of people. So spread some love and generosity this holiday season (and beyond)! That warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get is sure to stay with you longer than the cold winter weather.