Make an effort to give local this season

 

As the holidays roll around, many of us look toward giving to those less fortunate.

According to a recent study, over 30 percent of all charitable giving last year occurred in December, which is why our mailboxes have been filled recently with requests for donations.

There’s the practical aspect as to why most giving occurs this month: People are in a giving frame of mind and want to make sure their donation occurs before a new calendar year. It’s also why charities are dependent upon a good holiday season for a large portion of their annual fundraising.

The Giving USA Foundation publishes national estimates on giving by individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations. You may be surprised to learn that 75 percent of all giving is by 

How to be a ‘good kid’ for the holidays

Since I was old enough to have a piggy bank, each holiday season I’d ask my mother and father what they wanted for Christmas.

Their answer: “All we want are good kids.”

Of course my childhood refrain was, “You always say that, but what else do you want that I can buy for you?”

I knew gift giving would be much easier if I could purchase a drugstore perfume for my mom and a necktie for my dad and have it over with. But no, that was not good enough for my parents. Their expectation of being a good kid was code for living by the values they tried to instill in us.

Fast-forward 50-plus years and it’s clear to me that their request, while a tall order, was really the gift they most wanted, even though being a good kid became a moving target as the years went by.

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