This holiday season has arrived for some and is fast approaching for others. A few of us are shopping up a storm, while others are making gifts or not giving gifts.
Some of us are looking for new recipes to complement our traditional meals and delight our family and friends. Others are looking at the budget and can’t figure out how to buy gifts while dealing with increasing food prices. A few of us are trying to figure out how we can get invited to a holiday meal as we can’t afford to host.

In my memory, the line between those who can help and those in need has never been thinner. This year, our national debt is higher than in previous years. People had setbacks during our lockdown years. Most of us have lost significant people and things since March 2020.

We just need to watch the news to grasp how lucky we are as everything is relative. What can we do? We can send money when we have the funds available. When we are over-housed, we can host a newcomer or a friend in need in our home.

And, if we’re the person in need, we can speak up. There are people around us who are eager to make a difference. If you can’t give gifts this year without going into debt, please say so. Or you can change it up. A few years ago, I started giving only to children. I was able to foresee the shortcoming, so I let my friends and family know. It turns out that it was not a big deal.

We know that we can’t solve the world’s challenges. My mother used to quote the town drunk. He said, “I didn’t start it, I can’t stop it, and there ain’t nothing I can do about it.” I take comfort in his words when I feel overwhelmed with the needs of the world. I prefer to work locally when I want to see a difference.

For others who want to support people closer to home, there are no-cost ways to help. You can host a food drive on your street or in your apartment building. Put up posters identifying a particular date and time for people to put food outside their door. On the same poster, ask for volunteers to contact you or invite a few friends to help collect the food items. We can all contribute in meaningful ways if we want to be involved.

In my building, we have an annual food drive and each year the number of items collected has gone up, but this year, collections dipped by 100 pieces. This is a significant sign. We also have a sock drive. Clean socks are important to people who are under-housed or without a place to live. Feet get blisters with wet or dirty socks. When that’s your main mode of transportation, it’s a significant challenge.

You can drop the food you collect at your local food bank or socks at a homeless shelter. Please check with them in advance to find out if they will have some volunteers to process your donation. If you are inspired to have a food or sock drive but need more specific guidance, please reply to this newsletter and I will be pleased to help you through the steps. Together we can make a difference.

Thank you for reading my lingering thoughts. Please let me know what’s on your mind and let’s continue the conversation.

On Wednesday, January 17, we have a remarkable line up. Sunny Wishart will share her story of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and Suzen Fromstein and Melissa Mackenzie will let you know how they find the funny in dealing with significant health challenges. Lorie Gelsheimer has an important story about dealing with her son’s addiction in a new way that has had significant results.

Invite a friend or meet a new friend at this event. Please get your tickets early as we are in a smaller location and sell out in advance. Thanks! I hope to see you there.

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I’ll be launching this course, Your Applause Academy from Grow At Your Pace, soon and sending out a notice so you will be the first to know about this important step in my new journey. Please subscribe by clicking the button below to be added to the Grow at Your Pace Newsletter.

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