Holiday hospitality: Giving Back

People need to stretch their generosity throughout the year

This time of year, the sad Sarah Mclachlan commercials come on and everyone’s hearts break. They run to their wallets and pull out a twenty and send it off to the company and briefly feel like they have made a difference in the world. But why do these people only do this during the holiday season? Why do the sad commercials that make you feel guilty come on during the time when you are reflecting on how lucky you are to be you?
Maybe it’s a corporate mind-control trick, but we all still feel like it’s necessary to be generous towards the less fortunate during the holidays. People volunteer for Thanksgiving, donate for Christmas. But what do they do the rest of the year? The less fortunate aren’t just less fortunate during the last two months of the year, they’re less fortunate all year long. People stand on the streets with their heartbreaking cardboard signs every day of the year, but most people choose to ignore them.
Sure, random acts of kindness are performed all the time during the year, but towards the end of the year is where it skyrockets. More than 30 percent of annual giving via Network for Good’s website donation processing system is during the month of December. Now we understand that people may not be able to even give during anytime of the year and that is okay. But even to those who cannot give during the year, they can keep the good thought in mind. Don’t let this be your excuse though. If the opportunity to volunteer presents itself, and you aren’t busy with anything, consider taking up that opportunity.
Volunteering can be a heartwarming experience, as well as buying a fun present for a less fortunate child during Christmas time. These people who are on the receiving end of the generosity that comes with the winter holidays are greatly thankful for the people who help them out. That on its own is a great way to justify being charitable during this time.
Could you imagine being able to give these people the happiness and joy that the misfortunate may only truly experience at the end of the year? It would be so worth all the hard work that comes with volunteering, worth the lack of those few dollars that you were only going to spend on something unnecessary anyways. The companies aren’t asking you to give thousands of dollars to them, when they say “every penny counts” they mean it. Those pennies add up over time after all.
Now we aren’t bashing the people who do donate and volunteer during the holidays, and we aren’t bashing the people who don’t. What needs to be seen however, is that maybe as you take time out of your winter break to volunteer, consider the thought of volunteering with that business during April or June, as well as December.
Embrace your inner generosity. Don’t let the holidays be the only time you show respect to people you wouldn’t even look twice at on the streets during the rest of the year. Take it upon yourself to be kind to everyone and everything, no matter what occasion. Show everyone that you can be good all year round.