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Rise to the Occasion
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This is the season to rise to the occasion in an important way—that of serving our communities during the holidays—and beginning with Thanksgiving. I can’t think of any way that keeps me feeling any younger than to be able to help someone in some way.

Unfortunately, there are always those who are in need. Even without a down economy, it’s time for contributing to food banks and filling those baskets of foodstuffs to help families who don’t have it so good. Though it’s our habit to give to our church food and clothing bank throughout the year, my husband and I are taking goods to church to fill Thanksgiving baskets—and will continue this every week during the holidays.

The Toys for Tots campaign among others is a way to see that kiddies aren’t left without toys and other items. We all know that the getting of gifts isn’t the spirit of the season and it certainly isn’t the chief idea we want to get across—but when other kids all around are getting gifts it just isn’t fair that any kids whose parents or caregivers are going through hard times be left out.


I know families personally who never thought they’d ever need aid to get by, yet they’ve fallen on hard times by job loss (one father of four we know has been struggling for four years—had a great job before his business went under in 2009). Recouping isn’t always a quick-fix, sometimes it takes years to get restored on solid financial footing.

Many Americans remember the struggle of the Great Depression. Holidays were especially trying for parents. As a kid, I recall Christmas gifts that were provided by the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and other churches and charitable groups. We stood in l-o-n-g lines to get our gift; it wasn’t done as discreetly as it is today. However, whatever we were given brought a smile to our faces, even if it the present was a small pencil box. Pencils were absolute treasures in those days.

Perhaps you’ll to rise to the occasion during the holidays such as helping to cook or serve in a soup kitchen, or plan and/or participate in jingle-bell parties at nursing homes, or residences for the elderly. Maybe you’ve already been practicing for weeks be to be a part of the Nativity play or Christmas choir at church. Maybe you’ll be the chauffeur to pick up and take someone to a church, school or community center for holiday events, who otherwise can’t attend. Yes, the holidays provide many reasons--far more than I’ve mentioned here—to rise to the occasion—to be blessed and feel younger by doing so.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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