Dallin Crump

charity

We know that many families in our community have been hit hard by layoffs, inflation, and other dire circumstances. I talked about it with my wife and son and we decided that we are in a position to give. We want that to be our focus this Christmas.

Instead of doing our usual gift exchanges with our immediate and extended families, we have decided to help Utah Families Feeding Families, a local non-profit dedicated to helping families that may not qualify for government assistance, but still have legitimate needs. Every Christmas they organize a gift drive for children whose families do not qualify for Sub for Santa, The Giving Tree, Toys For Tots, etc. We have signed up to help three children.

It's completely anonymous – we don't know who they are and they don't know who we are. We selected from a list of hundreds of children which included some basic details like their age, gender, clothing sizes, needs, and interests. We are asked to give each child both a few things they need and a few things they want.

I selected Child 267, a 10-year-old boy who sounds extremely bright and has some special needs. I had more fun than I thought I would as I shopped for some of his gifts online today. I tried to put myself in his place and imagine how I would feel opening his gifts for Christmas. I hope it's a magical day for him.

I'm sure my wife and son are having similar experiences thinking about and shopping for their children.

Those who are sponsoring children purchase and drop off their gifts to Families Feeding Families (FFF) by December 5th, then they have a massive “wrapping party” to wrap all of the gifts and ensure every child on their list is accounted for.

After Christmas, the families of the children write anonymous thank-you notes which are posted in the FFF Facebook group. It's great to hear about the child's and their families' reactions to the gifts they receive – but especially to know of the joy and help they bring.

I'm not writing this “for the Gram” (for recognition or validation), but to highlight the work of a charitable organization and show one of many examples of the good being done in the world – people coming together to give and to help those in need. And also with the intention of inviting you, the reader, to consider looking for ways to give in your local community if you are in a position to do so – at Christmas and any time.

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#100DaysToOffload (No. 50) #charity #Christmas

I enjoy writing letters. I also enjoy receiving them. Emails and texts have their place, but they can never take the place of letters, postcards, and greeting cards.

There is something special about receiving tangible correspondence from another person. If it is hand-written, it's even more special. Handwriting is imbued with one's personality and style. Getting a letter from someone means they took the time to sit down and type or write something especially for you. It means that of all the things they could have been thinking and doing, their thoughts and actions in that moment were focused on you. That is no small thing, for the most precious and valuable commodity we have in this mortal phase of our existence is time.

Five years ago, I conducted an experiment wherein I resolved to write a letter by hand to someone every single day for one month. I enjoyed it so much I think I ended up doing it for two or three months. In addition to writing letters to friends, family, and neighbors, a great help in accomplishing my goal was my discovery of The World Needs More Love Letters (moreloveletters.com).

The World Needs More Love Letters (TWNMLL) organizes letter-writing campaigns for people in need of love, hope, and encouragement. Usually, these people have experienced or are in the midst of tremendous adversity and trials in their lives. I've sent several letters to people through TWNMLL. It's so great to see their blog posts about the reactions and experiences of those receiving the letters. It makes a difference for good in their lives.

There are other ways to write letters to people you don't know. Assisted living and retirement homes often accept letters for their residents. Many people who live in such facilities are terribly lonely and a letter from someone – anyone – can do so much good. I've also heard stories about people leaving hopeful, uplifting letters in public places – usually outdoor common areas or public transportation – to be found by others. Though I have not done this, myself, I think it's a fun idea and might try it in the future.

Whether a friend or a stranger, never underestimate the power of a thoughtful letter to bring peace and hope to someone's life at just the right moment.

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#100DaysToOffload (No. 22) #life #intentionism #charity