One of our favorite holiday traditions is buying and packing food for the Salvation Army. I don't know why issues surrounding food and hunger tug at my heart so much-- but they do. Maybe it's because in some small way I can relate.
When we first moved to Arizona, we struggled for months to make ends meet. There were many nights that we went to bed wondering if there would be anything for dinner the next day. It is only because of the love and kindness of a few incredible people that we never had to put our kids to bed hungry.
With such a blessing given to us, how could we not turn around and meet the needs of others right in front of us?
"The Salvation Army helps people in more ways than any other national charity, from family services to disaster relief to those affected by substance abuse. The Salvation Army gives a hand up, not a hand out and we serve those in need without discrimination or judgment."
On their website, they have a little story that I read to my kids tonight, so I thought I'd share it here:
OTHERS. This was the entire contents of a Christmas message sent by telegram in the very early 1900s by our founder, General William Booth. The cost to send a telegram wasn't easy for Booth to afford so his message of encouragement to his officers around the world had to be short. An entire message had to be condensed to a single word. This word had to encourage, inspire and give direction. Not an easy task for a lonely word. Yet the task was accomplished.
OTHERS became the focus. OTHERS became the reason.
OTHERS became the purpose.
“I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful - for all of it.”
Does your family have a favorite organization that you love to support? Or maybe a favorite place you volunteer at? If so, leave me a comment or send me a message-- we'd love to hear about it!