The Spirit of Giving

By Alex Cohen

The Spirit of Thanksgiving: “Loving the GIVE”…

I’m writing my first post on one of the greatest days of the year: Thanksgiving. Today is all about the spirit of giving—we share our homes and food with our friends and families. We come together and are reminded that we love each other and will always be there for each other no matter what the circumstances.

Today we give thanks for all that we have in our lives: our families, our children, our jobs, our food, our health… But what if starting today, Thanksgiving, we do more and give not just thanks but GIVE of ourselves?

Starting today, we challenge you to GIVE of yourselves each and every day, one way or another. This can mean holding a door open, helping someone carry a heavy load, bringing a coworker a cup of coffee, giving a homeless person your spare change, smiling at a stranger, teaching someone a new skill, telling a joke or just making a sad friend smile.

The organizations that we support wouldn’t be here today without many little gifts—and the lives of the people they help wouldn’t be as enriched. In the dictionary a volunteer is described as, “a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.” Offer yourself and encourage your spouses, children, family and friends to do the same. This can be as easy as bringing canned foods to work when asked during the holidays, or helping serve a warm meal to the homeless. Or go big and offer to help run an event, or walk/run a marathon for a cause. We all have something to give. You choose—just GIVE.

From a very early age, working in a rummage store with my mother, I learned that no gift is ever too small to ease someone’s burden during a difficult time, nor is it ever wasted. Every gift makes a difference—to a person, to our community, to the world. We hope to inspire you to GIVE of yourself in ways you may not have thought of, to teach you how to give responsibly and to share some of our grantees’ stories.

So please, GIVE a little each and every day—and join us on this journey of “Loving the GIVE.”