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The Season of Giving is Always

This post is brought to you by the Grand Pooh Bah from one of our longtime staff members, Lauren, about her family experience with giving...

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I was raised in a family where I was fortunate to never want for anything. As a child this was just the way it was, I saw it on TV or in a store and I got it. My parents did not see this as spoiling but rather just what you did if you could afford to do it. However, as I got older my parents quickly made it clear that not all families were created financially equal and other children don’t actually get to “choose” their financial security. This lesson in compassion was discussed a lot in my family and the result was an understanding of how very important to my parents that we always gave back to the community, and especially to those who were less fortunate.

During the holidays season we purchased gifts and donated gently used item to local shelters where we knew children would be spending the holidays without the same great experiences we would share as a family. It felt great to contribute what our family could and it served as an invaluable lesson that was reinforced every year. This type of giving was easy and accessible! It easy to be reminded during the “gift giving season”; it’s everywhere you go with toy bins set up, local businesses soliciting gifts, children doing toy drives….give give give, and most people do.

The true lesson of giving came much later in life when it occurred that I received gifts at other times throughout the year. There are always birthdays, and gifting when goals were met and then presents simply just because and out of love. I recall thinking to myself, and asking “Do children less fortunate get gifts for these occasions too?” AS the pieces of the puzzle came together it dawned on me that there were never any bins at local businesses asking for donations throughout the year. The whole idea that giving didn’t occur all year ‘round was troubling to me. As a young adult, I committed to making a difference when I had my own children and now that I have a small child this commitment comes in the form of a very strict rule in my house. When a gift comes in for any reason, one goes out. And the toy that is selected by my child is donated to a local shelter or charity. It is heartwarming to see my child select a favorite toy of his to gift to another child to enjoy. At the age of two, he is still too young to fully understand the true meaning, but what is understood is that it is not an option for us to not give all through the year, it is mandatory…because birthdays and special occasions don’t wait until the holidays.

Giving is a great way to teach children to value what they have and that helping others is invaluable. For more information on how to give in your area look for shelters, food pantries and donation centers that will donate to families in need.

Helpful links:

DPSS Toy Donation
Donation Town.org
Salvation Army
Goodwill Donation Centers

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