It’s old news now that people from all walks of life are in need these days. With the holidays approaching at warp speed, many find themselves overwhelmed with more a sense of despair than of spirit. For some, creating memorable holidays, filling the hopes and dreams of their kids while providing daily necessities is proving more daunting than usual. For others, priorities are clearer than ever. There’s a heightened sense of importance and appreciation of family and friends, and perhaps even mankind in general. Time together seems to be far more valuable than an expensive piece of clothing or a designer watch.
So this holiday season, the challenge is to get together with a friend or two, or a few family members and give as one to someone who is struggling more than you. A group spending twenty bucks each can add up to a big and meaningful difference. Different community outreach organizations sponsor different types of programs. ‘Adopting’ a family in need for the holidays is one great way to connect and give back. Often you will be provided with the ages and gender of kids within a family along with a few wish list items. In years past this has included pre-paid mobile phone or gas cards for a teenager, a much anticipated toy for a younger child or gift cards for food, or clothing. Many senior citizens are also grateful for being remembered during the holidays.
It has been said that by involving our kids in the giving process, we give them a broader perspective of the world. The empathy they experience can actually take a little pressure off of them by seeing that the world is bigger than their problems. That’s an empowering feeling for kids. Research has also shown that the act of giving actually provides physical benefits to the giver. So go ahead; give and feel good – in more ways than one.
Holiday giving programs are going on in agencies all over the state. Start by checking the listing below for an opportunity to give a valuable gift. Don’t see something close to you? Try calling your local Chamber of Commerce or social services agency. But don’t wait too long, many programs wrap it up by mid-December.
Bridgeport’s Family Services Woodfield (FSW) 203-368-4291
West Haven Youth and Family Services: 203-937-3633
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut: 860 443-2896(serving New London to Essex)
Lyme Youth Services Bureaus: 860-434-7208 (serving families and youth) or
Old Lyme Social Services: 860-434-4127 (serving seniors)
Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services: 860-395-3188
Westbrook Youth and Family Services: 860-399-9239
Photo credits- gift-judsond/flickr, gift sharing- chazwags/flickr, boy with gift-jason tromm/flickr, boys-OTH/flickr