True spirit of the season

Holidays and giving seem to go hand in hand. Not because we shouldn’t give all year long. My family does, and I’m sure you do, too. But this time of year does tend to bring out the best in us, and I’m always thankful to learn about ways to give to organizations I’ve supported in the past, as well as ones I’m learning about for the first time.

Sometimes, though, it can feel overwhelming this time of year, with so many opportunities to give and help. A couple of weeks ago, before we’d even begun Thanksgiving, I looked at my inbox and felt so heavy. As I clicked one more email asking for my help, I wanted to shout at my laptop, “I can’t help you! I’m already helping here! And there! And over there! I can’t do it all!”

Have you ever felt that way? So overwhelmed with need that you can’t process and, in the end, can’t help or care anymore? I don’t often reach that point, but I do have to be careful not to invest my heart and soul in every single cause out there. Worthy as they may be, I simply can’t make a difference in every cause or need in the world. That’s why my “giving up on perfect and getting on with life” strategy is to learn, choose and focus.

Today is Giving Tuesday. Perhaps it’s simply a salve to our weakened spirits after the chaos and, in many cases, greed of Gray Thursday (as my cousin called it), Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Maybe it’s just a Band-Aid to cover the materialism and commercialism that we like to rail against so loudly these days. But to me, it’s something much more. Giving Tuesday is a chance to learn about opportunities to give and choose the ones you will focus on this year.

With that in mind, here are a few ways you and I can give back this season:

Salvation Army’s Rock the Red KettleI am really excited about this! The Salvation Army is holding a free concert here in Kansas City on Friday, December 7. It will be at the Midland Theatre, and Andy Grammer will be performing. I really like Andy Grammer and have been humming his song, “You Gotta Keep Your Head Up,” all day since reading about this event! To get tickets for the event, you simply have to sign up for a two-hour bell ringing shift. Ring a bell, and get concert tickets for free! (Guests will also learn about the work The Salvation Army is doing all over the world, including its fight against human trafficking.)

Metro Ministries’ Operation Holiday Hope: Most of us can easily spare $10 – and just that small amount means a low-income child will receive a wrapped present and hope this Christmas. Metro Ministries is a global Christian ministry that works with children in metropolitan areas around the world through inner city Sunday school classes for more than 30 years. I love how this organization has recognized that hearts are often most open to receive the truth and love of Christ on Christmas, and how it’s using a small, simple donation to make a difference in the heart of children in need! You can read amazing stories about children who’ve been helped on Metro Ministries’ Facebook page during the 12-day Operation Holiday Hope starting December 1.

Compassion’s Christmas Gift Catalog: You know I love Compassion. The work they do is amazing and life-changing, and this is one more way you can help release children from poverty. Gifts come in every price range (starting at $4) and make it easy to make a huge difference in a child’s or family’s life!

How are you giving this holiday season?


Speaking of Compassion, did you follow the bloggers trip to Peru two weeks ago? In case you missed the incredible posts from Jen, Angie, Kevin, Layla and Shaun, I’ve got them all here for you:

Jen Schmidt – Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Writing Life Stories Through the Scars
The Best Christmas Present Ever
Boys Will Be Boys

Angie Smith – Bring the Rain
Love Moves

Kevin & Layla Palmer – The Lettered Cottage
Compassion in Peru
The Day We Met Our Compassion Child
The House That Compassion Built
Dads and Daughters

Shaun Groves
For Thanks to God
How to Change the World on a Napkin
Formed for Flight
Peru All the Way Around

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