….although “giving” should take place all year, especially in light of the present condition of the economy. As Americans, I believe it is time to step up and take care of America. I understand there is poverty, homelessness, famine, and human slaughter going on around the globe, Darfur etc, but let’s get us in order first.

Unless you are very well off financially, you don’t have give money to help. If you feel stress from the economy, don’t let your employer bully or blackmail you into  a payroll deduction for charity programs. This is your choice, and I feel it must come from your heart! The Salvation Army is a noble organization, but if you can’t spare the change for the bell ringers, don’t give them money! Please though, don’t feel guilty, these are tough times for many of us.

Look to areas where you can donate your time for charity. Many organizations are in need of volunteers all the time.  I think Habitat for Humanity is a great organization. The recipiants of the charity must be involved themselves so it helps them gain the pride of home ownership, a commitment to keep it up, and as the time donor, you will gain a huge dose of pride for a job well done! Simple things like delivering food for the sick and poor. Working in a food shelf or soup kitchen. It all helps.

The “baby boomers” and the generations following have become a society of “pack rats”. Everyone should take the time and go through their basements, attics, garages, and storage sheds and set out the things that you don’t use anymore. If it still works, and is safe to use, donate it! I go through my clothing occasionally, and anything I haven’t worn in six months, gets donated! I use Catholic Charities and Sharing and Caring Hands to donate my clothes.Unfortunately, I live with three pack rats! We have run out of room in our house to store things anymore. Buying a bigger house doesn’t help with that mentality, it only encourages more accumulation.

There are so many things that we can do to help. Go to your local schools, donate your time to tutor and mentor kids in trouble. Help senior citizens do their house and yard work. Organize your neighborhood to keep watch and help neighbors who might be in distress. It is absolutely wide open for things to do, and at this time of year when we think of giving thanks for what we have, think about what we can give back, all year long!

Thank you for reading this commentary and feel free to respond with ideas for giving or volunteering.

Cam ObertHabitatSharing and Caring HandsHomeless


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