"for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me."
Throughout the years our Christmas celebrations have gotten much more simple. This year seems to be more about giving than spending. Considering worldwide economic hardships, I think the focus of many people has changed. A few very simple things busy families, even those on a tight budget, can do to ease the suffering of those less fortunate:
- Clean out your pantry once a week and donate what you can spare to food pantries.
- Purge you home regularly and donate items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, DAV, or another agency which gives people a hand-up as well as a hand-out.
- Keep spare change handy for donations to places such as the Salvation Army Kettle, or The Ronald McDonald House(at all McDonald's drive-throughs), or any place that accepts coins.
- Rotate Christmas and birthday monies through Microplace investments which offers short term and long term micro-loans to small business owners both here in the U.S and abroad.
- Save Box Tops for local schools(our drop box is in our church)
- Rather than gifts, donate money to charities in the person's name. Many charities will send a free card to the recipient. For example, I was able to donate to Saint Jude's Childrens Hospital online and arrange for the card to be sent with a personal message - very easy!
- Donate reward points
- Add a charity, school, church or non-profit to your shopping rewards cards. Our grocery store allows for this, and for every purchase, a portion goes to your charity of choice.
- Donate a portion of your garden produce to food pantries.
- Donate your old prescription glasses to the Lions Club(they also accept old printer cartridges, and other item). Drop boxes are at many shopping locations.
- Donate your books to the public library. They'll place some into circulation and sell off the ones they don't keep.