Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 13 - Charitable/Volunteer Work

On the 13th Day of Christmas,
My true love gives to the community
Her time, prayers and compassion.

1) Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women's shelter during the holidays?

These are difficult questions for the Genea-Scrooge...

I don't think my parents ever did this in the 1940-1980 time frame. Charity was not on the radar, other than dropping coins in the Salvation Army kettles.

Our church has hosted a homeless shelter for two weeks twice a year, and the shelter is there this week and next. We donate food items to this, but haven't been physically present at the shelter. Linda went down on Saturday to help set up the shelter cots and bedding.

Linda has been part of the Forest Home Women's Auxiliary for many years - Forest Home is a Christian camp in the San Bernardino mountains that our family attended for many years when the kids were kids. The Auxiliary has run a thrift shop in La Mesa for many years until just recently. We donated many clothing and household items over the years, and Linda worked one day a month at the shop.

Randy has essentially sat on his butt and not done anything of charitable value...sad to say.

2) Were you able to make the holidays special for someone less fortunate?

The people that I can think of are Linda's great-aunts who lived alone in San Francisco during the 1970's. We would go pick them up and bring them to Linda's parents house for Christmas dinner and gift exchange.

Over the years, we have occasionally invited some of the elderly church members with no local family to Christmas dinner with us, and they really appreciate the invitation and invariably are enthusiastic, friendly and fun.

Linda is a Deacon at church this year, and the Deacons usually "adopt" one or more church families, or friends of church families, who won't have Christmas gifts for their children or need help with meals. She is one of two persons who go with the pastor to serve communion to the shut-in church members.

Needless to say, I almost didn't respond to this prompt, but what the heck - my readers need to know that I'm a Genea-Scrooge sometimes, at least when it concerns the community. Maybe it's genetic, or a learned behavior?

This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Destination: Austin Family blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.


Terry Thornton said...

Dear Randy,
Because I think I'm slightly your senior, I'm going to take you to task for being too hard on yourself. There are many different levels of giving, of sharing, and of putting back into a community. Your readers know and appreciate all your efforts to write and publish Genea-Musings as the "gold standard" for the rest of us to follow --- genealogy, history, stories, observations, and a whole lot more. Thank you for being such a giving person.
And get another name as Genea-Scrooge simply doesn't fit!

Jasia said...

It's never too late to make a change Randy. As someone who came from a family of non-volunteers I know that the volunteer spirit can be cultivated. Even though I never saw my family members lift a finger to help others (outside of family members) I do it all the time. I've created and maintain web sites for inner city churches. I donate regularly to canned food drives. I buy and wrap baby bottles, pacifiers, blankets, and the like for the babies of unwed mothers. I walk to raise money for Alzheimer's research. I don't just do these things at Christmas time but all year round. You know what they say, each journey starts with one small step.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

John has always looked to me to do any charity work. Now that he's retired I've volunteered him to work at two different fundraisers this year and he actually had a good time. Join Linda sometime, you'll be glad you did.