Coat crib and Hat and Mitten Tree (2010)

One coat, one pair of mittens, isn’t much. Added with the gifts of others, many will be warmed.

Every day, when we bring in the mail, there is another envelope.  Someone is asking for money.  Help the orphans.  Help the homeless.  Help the hungry.

As much as I want to help, the need is overwhelming.  I freeze up.   I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but in the face of so much need, how can I really help?

Last weekend my son participated in Scouting for Food.  One Saturday, the boys drop off bags and ask people to donate just a few cans.  Just what you can.

What most people don’t realize is how these little bits add up.  The Saturday after the boys drop off the bags, they pick them up.  It always takes a bigger crew of bigger boys this second week and when the numbers rolled in this year I found out why.

They collected over 2 million food items.  That’s right.  2,000,000 plus.  That’s the highest total they’ve reached in five years.  Think of all the food pantries that will be helped.  Think of all the families who will have food on their tables.  The boys collected over 2 million items because people like you and I each gave a few cans.  No single bag looks like much but taken together they are quite a haul.

This holiday season open your heart.  Listen for God.  Then pick a charity.  Focus on a particular cause.  Then, give what you can.  Maybe it is just an afternoon spent packing boxes at the local food pantry.  Or a single toy.  Or a coat.

One toy and one coat don’t look like much.  Neither did one small bag of cans.  But taken together our small donations can do a lot of good for those in need more than ever now that the weather has turned cold.