Give Joy 🎄
As someone who is Jewish, I understand the concept of Tzedakah or charitable giving. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to lend a helping hand.
Teach Your Children Well
One of my all-time favorite songs is CSN&Y’s Teach Your Children. We raised our daughters always to try to help others. As a family, we participated in the Angel Tree Program when they were young. They would always pick out a child/’angel” who requested a bicycle. They would buy the bicycle, using the money they earned for chores, and we’d wheel it back to the mall. To this day, it makes my heart so happy when they lend a helping hand. In college, they both participated in the Dance Marathon to raise money #ftk (for the kids) at Shand’s Hospital in Gainesville, FL.
The Benefits of Giving
There are many verses in both the Bible and the Siddur that should inspire all of us to lend a hand. The simplest of gestures may make an enormous difference for someone else. Giving back spreads light. And when you share that light with others, you benefit too. The positive impact creates a sense of peace and joy. It is humbling because it reminds us to show gratitude for what we have. It is a blessing to share with others. And it allows us to recognize how good and positive our own lives are. More importantly, we should do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Light the Way For Those In Need
It truly does take a village to help our neighbors. A woman in my housing development started a community project program. The premise is that those in our community sign up to sponsor a child and/or an adult for the holiday project. Most of the home subdivisions have a captain. The projects consist of putting together a backpack or holiday bag/basket filled with toiletries, a pair of pajamas, a toy, a book, a puzzle, a blanket, and so forth. They then distribute the items collected to local agencies for those in need.
I absolutely love participating in this project. I bring this up not to brag that I participate but simply because I feel strongly that we should care for our neighbors. There are so many communities throughout our country that have similar charitable projects. Finding ways to help others through service, time, and money is not complicated if you have the means. Most of the baskets we put together cost less than $100.00, but its impact is worth more than that. It means soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, a razor, and shaving cream… all essential items for women and men who are living in shelters or halfway houses. Putting it in a backpack makes it easier for them to take it from place to place. And the Christmas bags mean no child will go without them.
My friends, daughters, their friends, and niece got involved this year. They all loved doing the project. When you are blessed, it is important to pay it forward.
National Charities That Need Our Support
National organizations also depend on donations to help those in need. My favorite national charities were chosen for personal reasons. They include:
The Pap Corps – I’m a lifetime member of The Greater Broward Chapter, so please select that chapter if you choose to support this organization that funds cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
University of Florida Foundation 🧡💙🐱🐉- As an alum and a mom to two UF graduates, we are huge Gator fans. I am grateful for the opportunities my daughters and I had. It seems natural to want to pay it forward.
Shop at Businesses that Have a Giving Component
Learn more about my favorite Do Good brands.