I am not a big fan of clutter or accumulating what we don’t need so the rule in our house goes like this: “Have you use this in six months?” If the answer is no, then we let whatever ‘this’ is go—to a charity, a shelter or a relative. We let go and do good.
As we move into the craziness of the holiday season, we all want to be part of the whole peace on earth, good will toward men vibe. It’s pretty easy. Taking into account that you’ll likely receive some gifts (unless you are completely surrounded by true Scrooge types), try giving away some of your less used items to make room for the abundance of stuff to come…and to benefit others.
It can be tough to let go, but think of it this way: that coat that has hung in your closet for two winters isn’t keeping anyone warm, not even you. Why not ensure that someone is cozy this winter by donating it?
There are so many options for letting go and doing good.
Look for a coat drive and donate a new or gently used (translation: clean and not worn out) coat so someone has a toasty winter.
Running shoe and winter boot drives are popular and can help people keep their tootsies warm through the chilly days ahead. Again, please be sure to donate only clean and gently used shoes.
From dishes to electronics, radios and CD players, sports gear to sofas, organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army will take your unwanted, but still useable items into their stores and move them to homes in need.
Food drives are a great place to do some good. Donate canned or shelf-stable pantry items which will be assembled into packages for those less fortunate than us.
You can also donate…you! Your time and smile go far (sometimes a lot further than a check) during the holiday season. Volunteer to serve food at a shelter. Cook and deliver dinner to a busy or elderly neighbor. Bake cookies and deliver them to the local fire or police station.
There are many ways to make the world brighter this holiday season and many ways to give of yourself. Service to others is what makes us fully engaged in our humanity. We receive as much as we give when we give of ourselves.
In our house this season, with so many people struggling to recover from storms, fires and other natural and political disasters, we are choosing to skip the stuff buying. There's no one in our lives who needs anything while these people need so much. We are choosing to donate to charities who help those in need instead, from the ACLU to Planned Parenthood to our local food banks, Manna and Philabundance.
How will you do good this season?