Pinke Post: The most meaningful task of the season
Could your community benefit from some extra cheer and friendly faces this Christmas season? Before I get busy baking Christmas goodies or tackling my "to-do" list, I make friendliness and spreading cheer a high priority in early December. A coup...
Could your community benefit from some extra cheer and friendly faces this Christmas season? Before I get busy baking Christmas goodies or tackling my “to-do” list, I make friendliness and spreading cheer a high priority in early December.
A couple of years ago, a few community members and I created Wishek Friendly Faces, modeled after a group we heard present about their Williston Friendly Faces efforts. Their goals focused on making their community friendlier to all people. We aim to do the same in our small town.
This month marks the third year Wishek Friendly Faces will be wrapping gifts for freewill cash donations. We have a designated drop-off location and hours at a local business. We also take nominations for individuals or families in the community who are in need of Christmas cheer. The money we raise wrapping gifts is used to buy gifts for the nominated individuals and families. As much as we can, we shop local to bring the generosity full circle.
Each year more people bring in gifts to be wrapped, donate money and give of their time to help wrap gifts. I’m humbled by those who are willing to give-as well as the incredible need to spread cheer and friendliness in my own community.
Outside of Wishek city limits, across the prairie, our country and even oceans, so many are without food, clothes, a roof over their head, transportation-all the things you and I don’t think twice about. I support humanitarian efforts far from me through monetary donations. However, I cannot neglect those who are hungry, cold, lonely and/or hurting and have them unnoticed in my hometown.
Somewhere in your community an elderly neighbor will not have visitors at Christmas. Maybe a new pair of slippers, a plate of cookies or sharing a cup of tea could be your way of spreading Christmas cheer.
Beyond donations, many organizations and agencies need your time. All you have to do is recognize the needs of those around you and be the friendly face who is willing to serve them this Christmas season.
Even in times when I have not felt friendly or cheerful, forcing me out of my comfort zone and surrounding myself with other helpful volunteers changed my mindset. In the past two years, Wishek Friendly Faces has taught me to be less distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season and more intentional about my giving.
After church on Christmas Eve I don’t want to drive by a single house and wonder or worry if those who live there are able to celebrate the joy and magic of the season. I can’t save the world, but with the help of other friendly faces I can make a difference in my community. One by one, I’ll wrap gifts this season.
One by one, I’ll buy gifts for one of the nominated people or families in need this season. I will deliver gifts the week of Christmas to people who aren’t expecting them.
Every time I wrap or buy presents through Wishek Friendly Faces, I have to fight to contain the emotion building inside of me. Beyond the cleaning, decorating and baking, giving should be what underpins every single task on our to-do list this Christmas season.
Connect with Katie Pinke on her blog thepinkepost.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.