An interesting juxtaposition this morning: I was watching Good Morning America; one feature was all about tipping one's service people during the holidays, approaching the topic with a kind of eye-rolling, resigned, "Oh, my God, how many people have their hands out this year?" attitude -- as well as with an assumption that viewers were all upper middle-class suburbanites. The very next feature was about donating goods in kind to organizations like World Vision, and spotlighted a family who, once a week all year, eat a simple/inexpensive meal and put the money they've saved on food that day in a special jar that, at Christmastime, they empty out and use to buy livestock, school supplies and other needed things for needy people around the world. I hope that I'm not the only person who had an attitude-adjustment experience watching these two stories in tandem.
In our household we are donating our collective loose change -- and it's amazing how this collects during the year -- to The Heifer Project , which provides people around the world (including households in North America) with livestock or trees, with training and support to help them leverage these gifts into needed family sustenance and income. The families are then obligated to share the offspring of their original gifts with other people in their community -- so the gift continues to give. We love doing this. And we bet you will too.