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All the great things you can do this year!

I was inspired to write this when I was reminded of a quote from the late Arthur Ashe that has been recirculating on social media recently. A question was asked about how he felt about contracting HIV entitled, "Why me?". I recommend reading it, even if you've read it before. I have so much admiration for his grace, knowing death was before him, yet still inspiring us to remember that life is wonderful and to appreciate all we have. That's especially poignant in 2020.

One of the specific things that struck me was the line, "Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life, while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life." For a lot of us, we are thinking and missing all the things we can't do because of pandemic restrictions. This was a sobering reminder that I do want to be grateful, but I also want to be helpful! As the holiday season is approaching, I challenge all of us to think less about what we can't do in 2020 and more about what we can do! I have some ideas of what I am going to do and thought I would share with you and hopefully give you some inspiration.

1. Give kindness and compassion to others. This one is 100% free! While some people are fired up about politics, personal freedoms, working from home, family members sick (or worse!), we should remember that everyone is going through a lot right now. When someone is rude, remember we don't know where they are coming from. If we all let things like that go, and when possible say "thank you" or ask "how is your day going?" to strangers that might need a kind word, we are giving a gift that costs us nothing. Kindness is contagious!

2. Give things that you aren't using. Are there things in your home that you now realize you don't really need? I have 8 winter coats, and I definitely don't need them all. I've decided that I am going to keep 1 or 2 and give the rest away. I might miss 1 slightly when I wear a certain outfit, but the warmth someone else will get from it is far more rewarding then looking perfectly put together. And that's just a start. A great place to donate clothing and household items is The Altanta Mission. The items donated support their programs to help families facing homelessness.

3. Give to charities that make the most of your dollars! Giving money when your future is uncertain is tough for a lot of us. For myself, I think even if I just give part of my current discretionary budget to a charity that can stretch my dollar, that will feel satisfying. A great money maximizer is the Atlanta Community Food Bank. For every $1 you donate, they can purchase 5 canned food items. So a $25/1 time dinner skip (or swap with a PB&J) for me could be 125 canned items or 30 + meals for a family of 4.

4. Give of your time. What do you have most of right now? Ummm....time! You can volunteer for all types of programs that allow you to help others while still practicing social distancing. One is Open Hand an organization that provides meals for people in our community that would otherwise go without. You can sign up to pack meals or deliver them. No long term commitment is required. You can just do it once. Can you even imagine the joy and comfort you will bring to someone that is in a situation where they don't have food or a way to get it? A pretty painless way to make a tangible difference to someone else.


What are some things you plan on doing the rest of 2020?



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