Six months from now many of us will be menu planning. Or mapping out the mother of all shopping experiences. Or listing things we are thankful for. Planning holiday gatherings and wondering if it’s a good time to start shopping for Christmas.
This is not one of those “y’all get ready, Christmas is so many days away” posts.
This is quite different actually.
We are six months from the start of the holiday season.
Inevitably hearts and minds, reflecting what they are thankful for, will turn to those who have less. Those who are in need. Without enough food. Without shelter. Without a home.
Many people reach out and offer their resources and time to those agencies and people whose mission it is to feed the hungry and support the people who are homeless.
Which is absolutely wonderful. And resources wisely invested.
Unfortunately, these missions and folks helping people in need are in desperate need of these resources all year long. While we hate to think of folks being out in the cold of winter with no place to go, imagine not being able to escape the oppressive heat, or the torrential thunderstorms, or the incessant attack of gnats and mosquitoes.
I once met a woman who had been living by the river to escape some of the worst of the heat. She came to the meal that we all shared on Sunday nights covered in mosquito bites. It was heartbreaking that something like a can of bug spray would have made all the difference in the world for her. Something that would have been cheaper than a pair of gloves and a hat in the cold of winter, but just as important for survival.
So this is not a “Hey Christmas is coming–feel the pressure–and dread it already.” This is a reminder to drop by your local shelter with those travel soaps and shampoos. Take a few cans of bug spray with you. Or call the soup kitchen and offer help with a meal. Everyone loves the idea of serving the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but folks need feeding all year long. Maybe check and see if a program in your community helps provide food on the weekends for children who are on the free meal program at school. The school year is coming to a close, and these littles ones will be home…..and hungry…..more than they have been all year.
There are as many needs that need attending to as there are people in our world. My point is not to make anyone feel guilty or to tell folks what they need to do. We can get both of those from any number of other places–we don’t need to make each other feel bad.
My point is–the need is always there. If you felt moved to help at Thanksgiving or Christmas, please think about helping out now. Right now is when the giving to these helping agencies goes way down. Your help is needed more than ever.
Let’s all make tomorrow a day to help another. With our gifts, talents, and resources.
Giving and sharing never go out of season.
Love to all.
If you don’t know where to start in helping folks, here are a few places to start. You can do a search for your own local agencies.
—Love Wins Ministry Raleigh, North Carolina
—Daybreak Shelter Macon, Georgia
—Backpack Buddies, Bare Bulb Coffee Kathleen, Georgia
—Macon Outreach at Mulberry UMC Macon, Georgia
—Family Promise of Greater Houston County Warner Robins, Georgia
—Macon Rescue Mission, Macon, Georgia
Again, this list is just a start and by no means exhaustive of all the great folks who are helping others. If you have any to add, please do in the comments so we can all learn more about these missions. Thanks.