The world can be such a horrible place but each year when Christmas rolls around my faith in humanity gets restored once again. People open their hearts and give – not only to family and friends but to perfect strangers as well. I am a giver by nature and donate time throughout the year to help children learn to read. When Christmas rolls around I also like to help with the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program (see my 2015 Angel Tree post here).
If you are not familiar with the program, it provides people like me with opportunity to ‘adopt’ less fortunate individuals (mostly children and seniors) and provide them with gifts and necessities. I’ve been adopting angels for over 20 years and have also worked behind the scenes for the past 5, helping with gift intake, checking presents against wish lists, shopping for ‘forgotten angels’ (angels no one adopts), and working in the warehouse.
This year, it was my pleasure to work at our mall’s Angel Tree station. There was a steady stream of people returning bags of gifts for their angels (we filled an entire dumpster!) and even more wanting to adopt. People took a surprisingly long time to study each person’s requests before choosing the perfect angel and seemed happy for chance to help someone else in need. Rich, poor, young, old, black, white, healthy, infirm – the only common denominators seemed to be that everyone had a big heart and wanted to help!
After I finished my shift it felt like I had been given an unexpected and wonderful gift. I got to experience the true spirit of Christmas courtesy of a tree, some angels, and the overwhelming generosity of my fellow man (and woman)!
How about you? Are you a giver? I’d love to hear what sorts of giving opportunities you support or organizations you volunteer with…