We are just weeks away from Christmas! It's hard to believe that this year has gone so quickly!! But, in what seems like just a few more sleeps, we will be waking up to scenes of family, friends, and presents. What a wonderful time to celebrate our relationships with each other and to remember what many of us believe to be one of the most important events in human history: the birth of the baby Jesus who grew to genuinely love all of humankind.
Sometimes, people ask us how we can still be joyful during the holidays. After all, The Salvation Army, our staff and volunteers, and our officers carry a significant weight. We know that it's important for our red kettles to raise the money we need to help provide for the need throughout the year. It is only through the generosity of the neighbors in our communities who hear us ringing our bells and respond that we are able to provide after school care for at-risk children. It is this generosity that helps support programs aimed at helping families in crisis avoid homelessness and hunger.
Christmas is also when families come to us with their most pressing needs. We believe that every child deserves a memorable Christmas morning but for families who are struggling to meet their most basic needs, it can be difficult to ensure that their little angels have a present under the tree.
"How can you be so joyful?" People ask us.
Honestly, it is because of our faith. We have faith that God will help meet our needs, but we we also have faith in you!! Every year, we are amazed at the beautiful, selfless acts of generosity from our neighbors just like you. Giving up an hour to volunteer to ring at a red kettle or at our Christmas distribution centers may not seem like much but each hour but it often translates to being able to help provide for many more families.
Financial gifts, too, are critical to helping us meet the needs in our community. This year, our Online Angel Tree returns as a fun way to give to families in need. We also have a way that you can host your own kettle! It's called #RedKettleReason and it's a great way to challenge your friends, family, or other groups and do good at the same time. Simply choose a cause and share your #RedKettleReason with your friends.
We can stay focused on provided for the needs of the most vulnerable in our community because we have seen our communities at their most generous. In the face of greater need, our communities respond with greater acts of kindness and support.
Thank you for all that you do to make sure that families have food on their tables, a roof over their head, and joy under their trees this Christmas season.