Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Local Family Decides to Forgo Expensive Presents This Year and Instead Spend Their Holiday Money on the Needy

My husband received an email from a client with the subject line: Thoughts for the coming holidays …

The long email went on to describe what he and his wife, although they can well afford to spend a great deal on presents, had decided to do this year for the holidays.

I’d like to share some of his words.
Neither one of us felt quite right about the gifts we were about to embark on purchasing for our kids, our families and friends. Something feels very different about this year.

[I]f our community is feeling the pinch and concern of this economy (to whatever degree), then obviously those who are most in need are also. While this difficulty may be a daily inconvenience for some of us, others actually struggle with the issues of where to sleep at night and if they will be able feed and clothe their children. Their daily need doesn’t remain in the realm of the theoretical; it is present and frightening.

During difficult times such as these charitable giving drops and the people already living in the margins simply go unaccounted for. (There are an abundance of articles on line documenting the downturn in charitable giving and the grim holiday forecast it portends.) [We] asked each other how we can participate in the holidays in a more purposeful way. In a way that feels appropriate.
The email goes on to describe two local charities that this family will be supporting this year, and then the email concludes this way:
So rather than buy all of our friends things they don’t need, rather than buy our kids ten things instead of one or two, rather than buy each other one more unnecessary thing, we are going to break the chain and try and apply our efforts to the kids and families these two fine organizations represent. In the grand scheme it’s only a small effort. But it is our effort and we can own it. If you were considering something for our family, we would kindly ask that you redirect your kindness to either of these two organizations.
This is definitely in keeping with what Scrooge at the end of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” did. And I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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