Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give the Gift of Generosity

Several of my writer friends have shared special holiday essays with me, and here is another one from a regular contributor to WinnsboroToday.com Imelda Tatsch is the Program Director at the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center (NETCAC) located in Winnsboro, and her "Caring For Kids" columns also appear in their bi-monthly newsletter. In "Caring for Kids" she offers support, insight, and a touch of humor for parents and grandparents. Enjoy....

Christmas is HERE! We just finished off the last of the turkey leftovers and here we are just days from the big day….Where time goes I do not know, but it sure seems to be going there faster every year.

This year we have rarely heard any good news on television or read anything hopeful in the newspapers. With all that being said, I would expect very little in the way of help for those in need. This is certainly not the case here in Northeast Texas. At least not that I have seen in recent weeks.

If you are a regular reader of these articles, you know that I work at the Child Advocacy Center. Each year we see several hundred children from the eight counties we serve. The children have possibly suffered either severe physical or sexual abuse, or may have witnessed a violent crime. Abuse is no respecter of age, gender, or social class. Many of our families are put in desperate situations due to the obvious interruptions to life when something like abuse takes place. The entire family is affected.

This can take a toll on the finances of an already struggling family. To ease some of this stress during the Christmas season, we offer our Angel Tree Program to the families of children that have been through the center during the year. Families are given the opportunity to place their children on the angel tree and while many decline the offer, many more feel the need to accept. This offer is not limited to only the child or children that come through the center but for their siblings as well. Our angel tree list includes families of one child to often as many as seven or more. This is where my favorite word for the month comes into play…. GENEROSITY!!!!

In a time when we only hear of the negative economic conditions, we have been extremely blessed by an outpouring of love for these children.

We know that the economy has brought several to the edge of desperation. The need is there and just as the need has risen, so have those with the heart of love. They feel such gratefulness for their own blessings that they have shared with generosity beyond measure. Because of this many children will have something for Christmas this year. Those caring for these children; parents’ grand parents or other extended family members are very grateful. They often tell us that without what they receive from the Angel Tree Program the children would have nothing at all. We are forever grateful to all of you who have opened your hearts to our little angels this year.

I realize this space is allotted to me to write something more specific to parenting or raising children. So, this is my two cents worth of advice for this month! If you are so blessed to have your children with you and your family, though you may struggle at times is functioning and remains “intact” then you are greatly blessed. Share that blessing with others and teach your children to be generous. This does not have to cost you a dime. Be GENEROUS with your time, your words of kindness, and a friendly smile. A few years ago someone started a challenge to counter the reports of “random acts of violence” with “random acts of kindness”.

Maybe we can revive this practice.

If children really are our future, what kind of future do we want? They will only know from what we teach them…Their eyes are always on you, so when you think of what kind of person you want your child to be, look in the mirror, do you see that person? Children learn what they live and as you know they don’t always do what you tell them but they will do what you teach them through your actions.

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4 comments:

jdcoughlin said...

Yes, yes, yes. They are our future, and mine are my heart. Whatever we do this time of year, as busy and frustrating as the season can be, we need to step back, give them or ourselves a hug, and remember what's important.

Happy Holidays!

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment during this busy, busy time.

Helen Ginger said...

Excellent essay. Thank you for sharing it, especially at this time of year, although it applies to all year round.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Maryann Miller said...

Glad you could stop by, Helen. I thought the message here was good for all the time, too. It's just that people sometimes listen better at Holiday times. :-)