Today was all about the kids. Each week, I make time to see my young nephews. I’ve been a part of their weekly life since each was born and they are two little dudes who can ALWAYS put a smile on my face no matter what life is throwing at me. They can also bring me straight down to earth when life decides to throw me some good attention as well.
As we were playing Pokemon and hide ‘n seek today and talking about Christmas, I started thinking about all the children out there who will not have presents under a tree for them on Christmas morning and my heart began to hurt.
So for today, I decided to look up ways to help children in an effort to make their Christmas a little more merrier. I learned that Toys for Tots spends less than 3% on fundraising and overhead, meaning 97% of donations go to the kids. That made me very happy as most charity organizations are run like a business and those they say they serve end up getting a small little portion of what the company takes it. That’s not charity in my mind. I understand it does take people, time and resources to run one, but I want to see numbers like those above for Toys For Tots before I take out my wallet.
That said, after looking at Make a Wish Foundation, I decided Toys for Tots would be the charity I give to this year. It’s run by the marine corp, who take donated wrapped gifts and bring them to children in need. A local hotel is a drop off center and it’s close to me. I just found three gifts I’ve gotten along the way that I planned to give to my nephews but have now decided to give to Toys for Tots so perhaps they can brighten a child’s day on Christmas.
Also, I’d like to share something I’ve been doing in hopes others may want to participate as well. I’m an avid Amazon shopper, and after learning I could help a charity while I shop, I quickly signed up. No brainer, right? Check Amazon Smile to sign up too! I chose UNICEF, a UN program to help children, but there are other charities you can pick as well.
I’ll be straight with you right out of the gate. Christmas is not a religious time for me. I understand its roots lie in Christianity with the birth of Jesus Christ and I acknowledge that but for me, I choose to celebrate this time of year by spreading love and being with those who I care about.
And keeping in the spirit of helping others, I decided to write a ten-day countdown to Christmas where on each of the ten days I will attempt to learn something new in the name of giving, joy and love, all in an effort to be of help to others.
Today, I decided to catch up on politics and I noticed a bunch of stories about a “fake news” epidemic. After I wondered how this FINALLY got to be acknowledged, I researched more and began to see that it was all about the dissemination of fake news and not the actual fake news itself!
So, in an effort to help promote integrity in journalism, I would like to share a video of a reporter who is reporting on Aleppo and is actually there and witnessing what is occurring. With the vast amount of dishonesty in journalism, it is getting increasingly more difficult to find honest news and we desperately need it. Aleppo is getting chewed up by the news media and my search for trustworthy news about it was quite difficult… But I found one and would like to pass it along in an effort to help others search for honest news among the sea of deception that is out there…
I recently signed up for yoga classes at a studio near my home. Today I tried something called Kundalini and Meditation. It balances deep breathing techniques with body movement that’s both peaceful and emotional. Chanting and meditation are part of it as well.
During the practice, I couldn’t help but notice the participant right next to me because she was breathing very loudly. It was difficult to focus with the intense huffing and puffing that was taking place an arm’s length away from me.
My first impulse was to roll my eyes and try to figure out a way to discreetly move my mat.
But then, I realized this was a great opportunity to spread some love.
Rather than roll my eyes, I smiled at her.
Minutes later, the instructor had us all form a circle for a healing meditation. She mentioned someone could lay in the center if they wished. A minute later, my nearby yoga breather claimed it.
After the chant, as we all returned to our mats, the one from the center stood and thanked everyone for her experience. No one seemed to be paying much attention to her. No response was given by anyone.
So I continued to smile and nod and listen to what she was saying. After she was done, I told that her experience sounded cool and gave her another smile. She smiled back, happy to share.