December 12 – Charitable/Volunteer Work
Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?
I don't recall my family doing anything like charitable or volunteer work. They would help out at church for the annual party, but nothing like soup kitchens or even ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Some years we were poor enough we might have been on the receiving end of the charity, had we been the sort to ask.
The last few years, I've spent a day working with my wife helping Catholic Charities hand out gifts for families in need in this area in their Share the Spirit event. It's most of a day of loading shopping carts with pre-selected, wrapped gifts for each family that has applied and comes to pick them up, pushing the carts out to their cars and helping them load the packages in. We get lots of thanks and smiles from families who otherwise might have little to nothing in the way of presents. The last couple of years, I was unemployed and just gave my time; this year I've actually had to take a day of vacation to participate, but I consider it to be well worthwhile.
This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman