A different kind of giving

Camri Anderson, Staff Writer

As November comes round, one word seems to linger in everyone’s mind… Gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. This word is very significant around the holidays especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Normally during the holiday season, we look forward to the normal holiday traditions that are celebrated with our family and friends. We think about what dish we should bring for Thanksgiving or holiday parties. We cut coupons and search for deals before going Black Friday shopping. We secretly wrap gifts so we don’t spoil the excitement until Christmas morning. All of these holiday traditions are something we are grateful for. Even if they are a little stressful at times, we still look back on the special parts of the day and realize how truly blessed and grateful we are for our family, friends, and the food that we are able to provide for our family and friends.

Sometimes we forget about the people and families that don’t get to have the “normal” holiday transitions. We don’t think about the people who struggle to find a home or shelter on Thanksgiving Day. We don’t typically think about calling New Directions, the homeless shelter in town and asking what they need for the holiday season.

This is a time where homeless shelters and churches look to people to bring in food for the homeless or less fortunate. This is a time when organizations, like Jacksonville High School, hold food drives to donate to the food bank. This is a time when donations are needed to the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation for winter clothes and accessories for families so they can keep warm through the cold months. Many of us don’t really think about these heartfelt donations during this time. We tend to think about our own preparations that need to happen in order to get ready for the holiday season. We don’t think about ringing bells for the Salvation Army which provides food and clothes for the less fortunate. Even a quarter in the red kettle makes a difference.

This holiday season I plan to ring bells for the Salvation Army, donate food to our food drive at school, and bring in some winter gear to the Jacksonville Public School’s Foundation. What can you do to spread gratitude this holiday season?