With the stock market falling so drastically and news every evening of thousands of job losses across America, I've been thinking about all the people who will be finding it harder this holiday season. I wonder if they live in a loving and giving community like mine.
Living in a small community, people usually put on a brave face for their neighbors and friends. Your neighbor might not look like he or she is struggling. They may look like their life is wonderful and all together. But you may not know that one of them has lost their job and is in danger of losing their house. Or that they've been plagued with high bills due to health problems or other things such as high college costs or helping to pay the living expenses of an elderly parent. Or perhaps, a single mom is struggling to make ends meet with the cost of fuel, daycare and higher food prices and is wondering how she can possibly put together a holiday that her children will remember. The holidays can be pretty rough for people who are struggling and I'm reminded of that as I watch the news of high foreclosures and I drive through town and see more For Sale signs than usual on houses in the neighborhoods.
I'm a firm believer that God helps those who help themselves and those who can't help themselves. And for those who are struggling, I believe God works through the hands of those in the community to help make things easier for people who are struggling. In my community there are many programs that help struggling families. One of them is a Holiday Dinner Basket program where businesses and members of the community donate, assemble and deliver holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For some people, it's tough to accept what they feel is a handout and not a gift and many times there are tears on both ends when a Holiday Basket is delivered. But in the end, it's the giving from the heart that is remembered the most and the knowledge that the holiday will be so much brighter for both families involved.
My community has many other programs that bring people together this Thanksgiving seasons I'm thankful to be living where I am, knowing that there are so many wonderful and giving people in my community. What are some of the special programs in your community? Post a comment and let me know. You never know if someone will read your post will spark interest in the mind of a reader only to have them implement your program in their community.
Many blessings to you all this holiday season. Lisa Mondello