As November ends and December begins, we enter into the most wonderful time of the year, also known as the season of giving.
One of the reasons the Christmas season is so joyful is because of the joy that comes from giving. After turning around from the Thanksgiving holiday and giving thanks for all we have, it’s important to pour out that thankfulness and remember that we have been blessed to bless others.
If you need some ideas for where to give this year, start locally. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to decide where to give your money or time when there are so many organizations in need of donations. Pick a cause or group that you are passionate about or can relate to and give as much as you can.
Locally, there are many organizations that welcome donations. In Abilene, you could consider charities such as: Global Samaritan Resources, which provides logistics expertise to organizations helping people who are faced with hardship, crisis or disaster; Salvation Army, which seeks to serve God while serving the needy; Friends For Life, which seeks to improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities; March of Dimes, which seeks to care for the health of moms and babies; Mission Thanksgiving, which seeks to provide a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless of Abilene; Dodge Jones Foundation, which supports education, the arts, health, community funds and youth programs in the community; Christian Service Center, which serves those in poverty in the community; Meals on Wheels, which seeks to enhance the quality of life for seniors and other adults by providing nutritionally balanced meals and supportive services; American Red Cross, which seeks to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies; Operation Blue Santa, which seeks to provide Christmas to children in need or at risk during the holidays; and more.
Do some research and find out what each charity works towards, you can’t go wrong.
If you have a heart for orphans, consider donating to Abilene’s Hendrick Home for Children or New Horizons- Foster Care, Adoption and Counseling.
Remember that there are other ways to benefit the community around you and others in need than providing monetary donations. Donating your time to be the hands and feet of Jesus is life changing and selfless work. Consider getting involved with organizations such as: Abilene Hope Haven, which seeks to provide hope to the homeless; Harmony Family Services, Inc., which provides social services in the Abilene area for at-risk children and families in crisis; Love and Care Ministries, which ministers to the homeless population of Abilene; City Light Community Ministries, which seeks to spread the love of Jesus by serving various groups common to the downtown Abilene area; Noah Project, Inc., which empowers and provides services to victims of family violence and sexual assault; United Way- Abilene, which works with community partners to focus on the education, income and health of those in need in the community; Disability In Action, which provides information, advocacy, skills training and more for disabled community members; 180 House, which seeks to assist alcoholic and addicts to long-term recovery; and more.
Another good place to seek those in need, is to go to your home church leaders and ask where you can help out or what non-profit organizations they may be partnering with.
The good thing is that wherever you choose to put your time and money, you can’t go wrong. When we are generous without judgment or question, we are following in Jesus’ example.
Matthew 25: 34- 40 (NIV): “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”