“And what is it that you want for Christmas?” the Santa at the 28th Annual Breakfast With Santa asked me as my siblings and I posed around him to get our picture taken. Even though I knew that I would be asked that question, I couldn't seem to form an eloquent response for him.
What do I want for Christmas? Well, after thinking about it for a few moments longer, I realized that I could in fact list a few things. For example: peace in the world, a roof over every head during this Holiday season, comfort, confidence, love...but I have a suspicion that our Leon Valley Santa wouldn't be able to grant me all of those wishes, no matter how hard he might try. However, as I thought about the question that Santa posed, a very beautiful quote popped into my brain, and it still hasn't left my mind.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Dalai Lama
During the Holidays, I've noticed that it is sometimes easy for us to get caught up on what it is that we want for Christmas instead of thinking about what we can do for others during this Season of Giving. And hey, I get it. I really get it. During Christmastime, I always seem to be reminded just how deep my pockets are, how quickly my wallet can start looking empty, and just how busy life can get. So, I put together a short list of ways that I could help make some of the changes I want to see in the world happen family budget friendly ways that require a minimum time commitment.
Here is that list!
Donate food to the San Antonio Food Bank.
All you have to do is bring any non-perishable food item to one of the many Food Bank drop off (and lucky for us, the Leon Valley Library has a donation bin inside!) and BOOM! Just like that, you've helped better someone's life.
Keep someone warm this winter.
Last year for my birthday, my friends and I all got together and partnered with Optum Hospice by making no-sew fleece blankets to donate to their volunteer opportunity that they call Knot-It-Forward. This volunteer opportunity gives you the chance to provide a terminally ill hospice patient with a handmade blanket which not only helps to raise their spirits and keep out the cold (terminally ill patients often times feel cold faster than you or I would), but can also become a keepsake for a family after their loved one passes away. Each blanket cost only around 5 dollars and took about an hour to make, and the gratitude that we were met with when we went to drop them off was worth every penny/second.
(For more info on Knot-It-Forward: http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp1784806.jsp )
Help a woman in need by providing them with feminine care products.
I watched a video not too long ago that was all about how many women in America go everyday without things that I take for granted, such as shampoo, deodorant, tampons, pads, etc., and let me just say that I was moved to tears. One of the ways we can help to remedy this is by donating feminine care products to a local woman's shelter. It's simple, easy, and inexpensive, and helps to promote dignity and health in our communities.
(Here's a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABch4VYOJZ0
And here's a link to a San Antonio Woman's shelter that takes these kinds of donations: http://www.fvps.org/make-a-donation/ )
Now, these are just a few ideas, and there are millions of other ways we can spread the message of giving during the upcoming months. I hope that you're inspired to help make our world a better place as we celebrate the Holidays.
Merry Christmas, and don't forget to be the change you want to see in the world!