I’m grateful to have a full plate, but it goes way beyond what is on my dinner table. I’m grateful for the opportunity to impact others through my business and volunteer efforts all year long. Like many people I know, I’m personally involved in a lot of great organizations that make life better for others. Working with and for others is one of the ways that I stay connected with a larger community, but it also reminds me daily that we all have amazing stories to tell.
At this time of year, many people make donations of time or money to charitable causes. If you don’t already have your pet project, I hope you’ll be inspired by these wonderful organizations that I’ve supported for years:
- Church. If you don’t currently have a church and would like to attend holiday services with my family and I, please let me know. We’d love to have you join us.
- Local fire company. Up until this year, I was volunteering as an EMT (ambulance crew) in my town. I am on hiatus now. Many people don’t realize that their local fire company and ambulance service is probably still run by a number of volunteer citizens. We come running when you call 911. Please support their fund drives, and maybe drop a plate of holiday cookies by the firehouse for the duty crew.
- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society may be best known as the host of the City to Shore Bike Tour which takes place each September. I’ve ridden the 150 miles many, many years, but our little ones can’t stand 8 minutes on a bike, let alone 8 hours. So we’ve sponsored other riders in recent years, all with the goal of ending the devastating effects of MS.
- Interfaith Hospitality Network. Yes, even on the Main Line, and everywhere else for that matter, there are homeless families. I’ve served as dinner host and as organizing trainer for this organization that provides housing, services, and transitional support to families. This is one place where there is no “us” and “them”, just neighbors and guests for dinner.
- Impact Thrift is a best kept secret for us bargain shoppers, but their three thrift shops in Montgomeryville, Norritown and Hatboro provide funds for local women and children charities (their website currently lists 18 organizations). They also provide a very valuable scheduled pickup service of household goods, which many of my clients have used. If you are looking to declutter your home or make your holiday shopping go farther this year, check them out.
- Habitat for Humanity is another organization that puts neighbors in our community in a better place, not through charity but through smart use of resources and shared efforts. I’ve worked on Habitat homes in many communities in NJ and PA over the years. I’m thrilled that their ReStores have opened in several area communities, including one in Granity Run Mall. Check them out for great deals on household goods and construction materials. They are also a great place to start for one of a kind finds for your room redesign.
- Heifer International has a been a favorite for years. One year my little ones donated a lamb in their grandparent’s honor, and everyone got lamb-themed gifts, like wool sweaters and scarves and lamb-shaped tree ornaments. If you love animals of any kind, this might be the place for you to shop for clutter-free gifts.
All of these organizations could benefit from your prayers, your service, and your financial donations. I’m grateful for their presence in our community. As we’re enjoying our turkey dinners, please take a moment to remember these organizations that make our communities better for all.