When I was little, one of my favorite thing about the holidays was picking little ornaments off of the Share Christmas trees in the foyer of our church. Mom would let us pick 2 kids, my brother could pick one and I could pick one, and we’d go shopping on a special trip to purchase things off the list of clothes and toys on the back of the ornament for those children. I loved knowing that we could share the season with people less fortunate than us, and thoroughly enjoyed picking my items…sometimes Mom would have to coax me out of the store because I was still stuck in the aisles of Target, carefully debating which things I thought the child on my ornament would prefer.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I am to have the things and opportunities I have in my life. It’s been freezing cold, in the single digits for the last few days in Denver, and each night I find myself feeling grateful for the warm bed I get to crawl into and a roof over my head. I’d love to explore some volunteer programs where I get to donate some of my time and love. For now, though, I was seeking something immediate to be able to share my good fortune.
Jonathan and I stumbled upon the holiday sharing program at our local grocery store, King Soopers, called “The Sharing Tree.” It reminded me so much of Share Christmas from years ago, that I tugged his arm to stop and choose ornaments off the tree in the grocery store foyer on our last trip for dinner items. I chose a 7 year old girl who wanted a Barbie and purse, and Jonathan couldn’t resist the 4 year old boy who wanted Legos (a kid after his own young-Jonathan Lego building heart!). We had a lot of fun picking out toys for our kiddos, and I even had to pull a Mom and drag Jonathan out of the toy aisle as he meticulously perused all his Lego options.
Here are some ways you can give back:
- If you’re a Denver resident, check out CBS Denver’s Top Spots to Make a Holiday Gift Donation to help local families and children in need
- If you’re a Chicagoan (as many of our Uncharted readers are), check out CBS Chicago’s Best Places to Make a Holiday Gift Donation
- Many of your local news stations provide lists of reputable nonprofits and shelters where holiday gift donations are accepted
- A lot of local churches do gift donation programs, and you can stop in to inquire even if you’re not a parishioner
- Check out this site of recommended Holiday Gift Programs that Benefit Nonprofit Organizations to make donations as gifts for both local and international nonprofit programs
What are you doing this season to give?