One of the important tenets that I’ve found myself trying to follow during this time of year – particularly as I’ve been getting older and have the means – is to make an effort to help those less fortunate than myself.
‘Tis the season to be sharing, Fred! 😉
Over the years we’ve been building a list of charities that are personally important to our family:
- Child’s Play Charity – gives toys and video games to sick kids in the hospital
- Moffitt Cancer Center – local research and treatment center
- Metropolitan Ministries – local support for the hungry and homeless
- Wikimedia Foundation – non-profit behind Wikipedia as a free, global educational resource
- Imagination Foundation – fostering creativity and innovation in kids
With money admittedly being a little tighter this year on account of two new mouths to feed and all, I’ve also been thinking about simpler ways to give back – things like taking $5 or 10 cash back when I’m buying groceries to drop in the bell ringer’s bucket outside the door or donating items as we’re cleaning out closets and whatnot. Even something like tacking an extra 5-10% onto the tip when we’re grabbing dinner is a nice gesture for someone working for their tips, which is honestly something that I’ve never had to do myself but I’m sure can’t always be great because people are often jerks.
As my family has grown again this year with three little boys that I now have to teach the ways of the world, one of the traits that I want to bestow upon them is to not be jerks, or scrooges, or whatever humbug-inspired term you’d like to call it! Hopefully they’ll be wildly successful in the things they do, and it’s important to me that they’re brought up in a way that with any luck they’ll be eager share a bit of that philanthropic virtue themselves that makes Christmastime especially, but really just life in general all the more rich and rewarding to live.
It feels good to help other people, it’s the right thing to do, and if something as simple as a $1.96 donation can mean a hot Christmas dinner for somebody who would otherwise go without, quite frankly it’s a no brainer.