|Photo: A red statue of the words, "Light the World" stand between poinsettias. A red star hangs in the background.|
It's two weeks before Christmas, and the holiday season is in full swing. The cold I had last week is pretty much gone, and I've been decorating the house, listening to Christmas carols, and addressing cards. Today is Friday the 13th, but I'm feeling the Christmas spirit.
1. I'm thankful for how easy it is to help others. For the past couple of years, giving machines have been part of the #LightTheWorld initiative. Instead of a vending machine that dispenses snacks, a giving machine allows participants to purchase items for the needy. Each year, more locations all over the world, from London to the Philippines, New York to Las Vegas, have giving machines. The closest giving machine to my house was in a local mall. I decided to go check it out.
I went mid-morning on a weekday, and was pleasantly surprised to find a line, even with several machines. (That means lots of people are donating!) When it was my turn, I was impressed with the number of choices: comfort blanket, back to school gear, trauma support kit, new home stability kit, a night of safe shelter, lifesaving nutrition, three chickens, one sheep, one piglet, one acre of sweet potatoes, box of hand soap, water purifier for a family, water tap and basin for midwife, reliable toilet for a school, install a well, take-home meals for a child, box of fresh produce, holiday meal for a family, 100 meals, 250 meals, one hour of child care, therapeutic book, 11-week parenting class, child abuse prevention class, individual therapy session, art supplies, baby blanket, send a kid to soccer camp, suicide prevention training, or books for a classroom of kids. Global and local charities benefit from the donations that are collected at the giving machines, and donations of all sizes are welcomed.
|Photo: A red giving machine filled with photos on cardboard to represent many different choices of donations|
After I decided on an item, I made my selection and swiped my card, then watched the cardboard piece fall to the bottom of the machine. It felt good to see a growing collection of donations at the bottom of the machine.
If you happen to live near a giving machine, I'd recommend checking it out. Go to the #LightTheWorld website to see if there is a giving machine in your area.
2. I'm thankful the giving theme continued this week at book club. As we discussed the book (Educated), we also assembled New Mom kits for a local hospital.
3-8. I'm thankful for connections: texts, phone calls, walks, personal visits, Christmas cards received, a dinner with friends. Those interactions are so important.
9. I'm thankful that projects continue on our yard. We hired a highly-reviewed, reasonably-priced fence installer this week. Sometime in January, our backyard will be entirely fenced. Seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail, and I'm looking forward to a garden next summer.
10. I'm thankful for John. We survived over a decade of having teenagers in the house. John must have thought having an empty nest would mean a break from all the hormones. Ha! Menopause threw that theory out the window! Poor guy. Good thing he has always said, "Life is an adventure, and adventures have a way of working out."
Hmm, just like a Hallmark movie. Maybe I should watch one while I address more Christmas cards. 😊
What are you thankful for this week? Share your answers with the Ten Things of Thankful community!
Joining me this week:
The Prolific Pulse
On My Way Home
A Season and a Time
The Wakefield Doctrine
Backsies is What There is Not