site stats
Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Giving

‘Tis the season for giving. My favorite season—or, being a Florida girl who needs her sunny weather, my favorite holiday season. Christmas! Hanukah! Kwanzaa! Whatever your holiday celebration in December, it’s still a season of giving.

Most of us think about gift-giving at this time of year, but as much as I enjoy theh idea of presents, today I’d like to talk about a different type of giving. The one that involves your time, your compassion, and your desire to do good for others.

I’m talking about volunteering in your community. Whether it’s just something you do during the holidays (like, helping to serve Christmas dinner at a local shelter) or on a regular basis (like, weekly/monthly visits to a local crisis nursery or animal shelter), I truly believe it’s important for us to consider those who are less fortunate, and find some way to do our part to help them. We can’t all donate financially, and that’s okay. But we can find a few hours, at some point in the week or month or year, to count our blessings and do what we can to make someone else feel special.

As a writer and avid reader, I think about how life-altering it would be to lose my eyesight. The written word is an important part of my daily life. I’ve taken it for granted for many years, until I started volunteering at Minds Eye Radio Station for the Blind at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Illinois. Find the station at

Minds Eye provides special radios to the visually impaired in the metro St Louis area. These radios receive daily broadcasts of the written word, along with other special programs. Volunteers record or read live on-the-air segments featuring local and national newspapers, books, magazines, sale ads, and other articles or items of interest to Minds Eye listeners.

Naturally the station also reaches out to listeners and potential donors/volunteers in other ways as well, so it’s possible to give of your time in many ways. But for me, who relishes a stolen moment with a novel or my weekly Sports Illustrated, and who carves out time for textbooks and assigned reading in my master’s degree program, I find reading for those who can’t a rewarding endeavor.

Translating the written word to the spoken word is a blessing of mine that I can transfer to others. Giving two hours of my time on a weekly basis is one small gift I can give to someone who, if given the chance, would relish an opportunity to read for two hours themselves.

This holiday season, will you be able to find the time to show someone or a group of someones that they aren’t forgotten? Or take a few hours to do for another what you hope someone would do for you if the roles were reversed?

Maybe you already do. Maybe you need some help finding the right organization. Don’t sweat it, help is on the way. Check out the following websites and see what you can find. or

Happy searching. Happy giving. Happy Holidays!




At 1:50 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Most of my giving these days is in terms of what I can do from my home. Not driving put a big crimp in volunteer activities.

But my favorite charity is Mercy Corps, because such a large percentage of their donations goes directly into service. And they'll go anywhere if they can get there. Sometimes I give Mercy Corps Kits as gifts to people or groups. I like doing art projects for donations too.

Check out their Mercy Kits here:


At 3:23 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Thanks for the info, Delle. I'll definitely check out Mercy Corps on the web. Maybe the kits are something that families with young kids could do together.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

I've volunteered for our Adult Literacy League for years. Very rewarding.

This year, since our children are grown and we live apart, we decided that our gifts would be donations to their favorite charities in their names.

Fringe benefit -- can do it all on line. No malls, no crowds.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Terry, what a great idea! My girls and I are looking into volunteering at the local crisis nursery. Two of my girls are only here for Christmas break, but I'm hoping we can put some hours in, and then my younger daughter and I will continue.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

One of my favorite charities is Heifer International. My husband and I donate books we've read and don't want to keep to local literacy groups--which is a great way to give without spending. If your child is involved in an activity involving performing, nursing homes are always looking for visits. My daughter's ballet company performs an abbreviated Nutcracker for a nursing home in our area. It's rewarding for the dancers and the patients!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks for the wonderful post, Pris. Great ideas from everyone. I will check them all out. Terry, I love the idea of helping kids and adults read!

Happy Giving everyone!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]