A Season of Giving
Andre Johnson, a wide receiver, for the Houston Texans, took 12 kids on an 80 second shopping spree at Toys R Us this week. These kids were chosen by Child Protective Services because they had especially difficult circumstances of abuse and neglect. Each child was given a cart and 80 seconds to gather as many toys as they could… and could they ever. The final tab was just over $19,000. Johnson said after the event, “That’s what this season is about. It’s something I look forward to. The kids are happy, they get what they want for Christmas, and that’s all that matters.”
A Country of Giving: I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Johnson’s statement. Let’s remember that there are thousands of individuals and foundations that set aside money and time to help disadvantaged youth. It should also be noted that donating time and money is not just for the rich. In 2010, 88% of Americans stated that they donated time and money to charity for a combined total of $291 billion.
Personal Giving: Two weeks ago my two eldest daughters (6 and 5 years old) and I spent a Saturday packing 1,500 shoe boxes full of clothing, stuffed animals, candy and toys. The recipients are children in third-world countries who have never received a gift in their lives. Each December we visit our bank and select several families to provide Christmas presents. We are continually surprised by the 5 year old who wants gloves or boots instead of a toy. My wife takes our kids to a senior citizen’s home to spread our smiles, enthusiasm and well-wishes. This year we selected a soldier to send gifts and cards to while he is serving our country in the Middle East. In a few short years, I plan to take our kids to the Lansing Soup Kitchen on Christmas so my children can appreciate how fortunate they are to have a house and food in the frig.
1) So, what about you? What do you do to give back? What can you do to make a difference? If you have donated before, how did it make you feel?
2) Has anyone ever helped you out in a time of need? What did that mean to you?
3) It’s that time of year. With the help of your class, your family or your friends, can you develop a plan to help others who are less fortunate than you?