By George, I think they’ve got it!

By: Sheila R. Davis, Volunteer Coordinator

“By George, I think they’ve got it!” That was my thought this past weekend.  We’ve been stressing to our kids how blessed we are and how we need to use our blessings to bless others.  Last week, my 4 year old twins pouted and moped when we gave to our church’s toy drive, “I need those toys.” said Lewis.  “No, you have more than enough, these are for who may not receive a Christmas gift,” said his father.   Lewis nodded, though I don’t think he was really convinced.  This Saturday, my ten year old son, Sam and I were out shopping and he saw a bellringer.  On his own he pulled out a dollar of his allowance and put in the kettle, usually I have to give him the money. Then he admonished me, “Uh Mom, where’s your dollar?” Last night Olivia saw me wrap a few presents for the Adopt-A-Family program and she said, “That’s not for us right, it’s for people don’t have Christmas.”  So she didn’t get it quite right, she’s beginning understand that there are many families who are in need right now.  In this “me, me, ME” society I sometimes wonder if my kids will learn to be grateful for their blessings and be giving in return. It is good see that the lessons are taking root.

Each year, we at The Salvation Army bear witness to families giving back. Whether it’s dropping a few dollars in the red kettles; volunteering to collect toys at one of our Angel Tree drives  or food at the annual Wehrenberg Cans Film Festival; or boxing food for needy families, parents are teaching their children that helping others is a natural thing to do.  Research shows that 81 percent of Americans who have volunteer experiences when they are young give to charitable organizations as adults.[i]  Once instilled as a child, giving becomes a lifelong tradition.

 We thank all the families who have helped The Salvation Army so far this year. It’s not too late to help this Christmas.  When you come across a bellringing, please donate. Better yet, a take a few hours out of your busy schedule and volunteer to ring as a family.  While you’re Christmas shopping, pick up one extra gift for a child in need and drop it off at your nearest Salvation Army Corps.  Your gift might be the only present a child receives this year.  More importantly the gift you’re giving your child is invaluable – the tradition of helping others.


[i]Young Volunteers: The Benefits of Community Service  http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/cd/2003/fs0323.pdf

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