So, you’re hitting the mall, Target, Wal-mart…probably even the internet to get all your shopping done. You’ve got your list of loved ones, teachers, and other special people so you don’t forget anyone.
How about adding a few extra gifts to your list this year?
I’d like to share a few charitable organizations that are near and dear to my heart:
I love, love, love soldiers, which is why I LOVE HeroBox! This is such a superb organization that you can support year round, not just at Christmas. But Christmas is a great time to start!
Here’s how it works:
Go to their website, HeroBox.org
Select either (a) Donate to make a monetary donation or (b) Sponsor a Hero to adopt a soldier
If you decide to Sponsor a Hero, you are hooked up with a soldier actively serving, and once a month you will send a care package to your soldier.
Grab a Priority box from USPS, pack it FULL of goodies, and ship!
Get that warm fuzzy feeling from doing something good for someone else!
My family sponsored a soldier for about 14 months – until he came home to be with his family. That’s when your sponsorship ends. It’s so incredible to do this – you get to know your soldier because you can correspond as much as you like. My daughter loved sending special pictures and cards to our soldier.
Here’s a tip: You can do some serious damage at the Dollar Tree, filling a box packed to the gills for next to nothing!
Ok, so you might not be a local Atlantan, but that’s OK. Locate the local Children’s Hospital nearest you and find a way to get involved.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is amazing, seriously. My daughter Marley was a patient there for a week when she was first born. She had severe jaundice and had to stay in the hospital for 6 days until she was well enough to go home. It was a miserable time for our family, and heartbreaking to know I couldn’t hold my new baby girl because she had to stay in her “bili-bed”, but Children’s and their staff were so supportive. They loved on me, they loved on Marley…they were just fabulous.
Last year, I volunteered my time and (semi)photography skills to give patients and their families free family portraits just in time for Christmas. I was the one who received the gift. I could not have imagined how uplifting that experience was going to be for me. These kids were seriously ill, and some of them had been in and out of the hospital for weeks, even months on end, and came in with HUGE grins on their faces! So uplifting.
This year, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a website that allows you to send a special message to a patient, and even make a donation, so please check it out, regardless of your location. Just go HERE!
Some of you may have read my post about my dear friend Jordan who suffered a serious injury while working on a scissor lift several weeks ago. One of his many injuries was a broken back, requiring some major rehab at Shepherd Center here in Atlanta.
Over the course of the past 10 weeks, this man has gone from being an almost certain paraplegic to a man who will walk out of Shepherd Center in just a few days with only the assitance of canes! In addition to his amazing spirit and faith, this remarkable recovery has occurred because of the fabulous people at Shepherd Center.
Can you believe that only 10 short weeks ago, he couldn’t move his legs at all…
I have never seen a hospital like this place. It’s a specialty center for spinal injuries and they are SO good at what they do! They are patient, understanding, loving, therapeutic, tough…I could throw in 1000 more adjectives and wouldn’t even come close to how awesome they are.
Again, regardless of your physical location, you can use the power of the internet to reach out and donate to this organization, or any organization like this in your home town. They all can use some love this Christmas!
I know there are TONS of charitable organizations to get involved with during the holidays so feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments.
Merry Christmas! See you tomorrow!