The Holidays are, as they say, the most wonderful time of the year! The change of seasons and the Holiday music (even if it starts in November, and even for us Jews- or at least me) really makes things start to feel a little magical. While we hope for only good things always, and especially during the holiday season, we have to remember that the holidays can be a really hard time for some. Hard for those who may have lost a loved one or faced challenges and hard for those who may not be in the best place, mentally or physically, emotionally or financially this holiday season.
We are so lucky to be able to celebrate the holidays in the warmth of our homes surrounded by family and friends and, if we want, buy them Hanukah or Christmas gifts. We are lucky to be able even to cook a Thanksgiving and/or Holiday meal to share with loved ones. It’s so important to be grateful and not take these privileges for granted. This week, the week of Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect and give thanks for all that we have. It is also the perfect time to think of how we can do good this holiday season. What may seem like a small gesture can make such a huge difference in someone else’s life…. so my question is; why wouldn’t we give back?
There are a lot of options when it comes to giving back. One amazing organization that can help us to fight for good is The Salvation Army. We all know the name and know they do good… But what exactly do they do? The Salvation Army Chicago works with communities in Chicago, Northern Illinois and Lake County, Indiana. They provide emergency financial assistance, groceries and help through food pantries. They have educational and recreational programs for everyone from kids to seniors and also have leadership training programs and character development for kids.
This holiday season, I am really encouraging all of you to give back in some way. Monetary donations are always an option and there are so many easy ways to donate to The Salvation Army. You can donate by phone at 773-725-1100, donate by text at SHIELD to 41444 to give a mobile donation to The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. A link to their mobile donation form will be sent in reply. You can also donate by mail and send a check to: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division 5040 N. Pulaski Road Chicago, IL 60630. Not in a place to give a monetary donation, that is TOTALLY OK! There are plenty of other options. A great way to give back is to collect and donate canned goods. Thousands of Chicago area families will "do without" this Holiday season. But we can help by donating canned goods and The Salvation Army will bring them dinner! If you feel like you would rather give your time, there are tons of volunteer locations and opportunities with The Salvation Army in the Chicagoland area. Find donation centers near you HERE and volunteer opportunities HERE.
This holiday season, I decided to do a grocery shopping trip dedicated to collecting canned goods to donate to the Salvation Army. I stocked up on veggies, beans and soups. Healthy and hearty things to donate to help those in need. I cleaned out my closet and will be donating warm clothing, shoes, and anything else I do not need. I am donating some beanies, a throw blanket, sweaters, jeans and also some workout clothing. It may not seem like much to us, but if we all join together and do something little… think of what a difference we could make in other people's lives? So, how will you be giving back this holiday season?
A big thank you to The Salvation Army for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.