Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Better to Give than Receive

The older I get, the more those early lessons my parents taught me prove to be true. One such lesson is that it is better to give than receive and it's always appropriate during the hectic holiday months.

It really hit home for me when I volunteered at the Louisville Red Cross and Louisville Professional Firefighters Union Local 345 23rd Annual Holiday Party on December 16. We got the opportunity to give a little bit of holiday cheer to over 300 Kentuckiana children who lost their belongings to home fires in the past year.

Being witness to that many young people getting to visit with Santa and not go home empty handed was quite a delight. However, the smile on faces of their parents and guardians was equally rewarding.

I had the privilege of speaking with Shawn, who takes care of her two grandchildren. She told me that they lost just about everything to a fire a few months ago. Thankfully, the family is getting back on its feet and Shawn had high praise for the Red Cross, an organization that until recently, she thought was just for donating blood. Our local chapter responds to about 25 home fires every month and provides victims with assistance for food, clothing, prescription medications, temporary shelter and other special needs a family may have. Shawn referred to the volunteer that helped her family as their "little angel." What was really moving was that Shawn, who didn't consider herself the "volunteer type," was so taken by her experience with the Red Cross that she now volunteers at her local animal shelter.

It truly is better to give than receive.


tonyb said...

Even Footing--
Do you have a moment to look over important disaster information? US President Obama did.
What do you expect in case of loss (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.)?