The holidays are over and now January finds us in a deep cold snap, the coldest in my area in the last 30 years. On the bright side, we have more sun than we usually do, so we are enjoying the sunny crisp wintery days. The Christmas season is usually so busy that I have in recent years switched from frantically writing Christmas cards in December to a more saner approach; sending New Years cards with heartfelt messages when I can spend a bit more time thinking about the recipients.
I have also extended the season of giving by moving my volunteer endeavours and charitable contributions to January where I can concentrate more on the acts of giving and really put some time into volunteering when charities are eager for more help after the holidays.
In many ways, these things are easier and more rewarding than trying to do everything during the insane Christmas season. For many of our family, Christmas consisted of a wardrobe expansion and other new items. So that brings us to the natural progression of purging in January. If you have resolved to help others this year, herein lies the perfect opportunity.
Go into your closets and remove anything that your family has not worn in the past 12 months, bag it and send it off to the Salvation Army or to your local charity. How many scarves, hats, gloves and mitts does your family need? Segregate and allocate for each family member and then put the rest of them to good use. It’s a simple task, really and a good way to help others at no cost to yourself. With colder than usual winters in our area, the need for warm clothing has been greater than in recent memory. Emergency shelters that have become commonplace in most communities are full many nights. Social support and charity outreach groups will make good use of any warm clothing or blankets that you can spare.
Consider transition homes for youth and victims of domestic violence,who often leave abusive relationships with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Transition groups and shelters are in constant need of living essentials for women and children. Charity thrift shops that support hospitals and a variety of causes make great use of discarded electronics.
Take action with me and extend the season of giving in your community. You will help others and it will make you happy too