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Pass it On Friday

November 22, 2012

So, I posted this on my Facebook page this morning: 

“I’ve seen a lot of people pledging not to shop tomorrow (or tonight for that matter) and while I think that is a wonderful thing, and I plan to not shop myself, I plan to take it one step further. Every year I make donations in various places for the Yule season. I intend to take tomorrow to be the day I do my giving.”

Every year, Black Friday creeps more and more into Thanksgiving.  Every year, Black Friday becomes more the anti-thesis to Thanksgiving. This year, even the ads are encouraging people to not just do their Christmas shopping, but to buy stuff for themselves too.

Yet, all over Twitter and Facebook today people are putting on their piety and giving thanks for the things they have, at least in lip service. I wonder how many of them really know what it’s like to be grateful for the meal on the table…to know that the Thanksgiving dinner on their table is likely to be the only food they see for the rest of the month, so they better make it last.  

I’ve been on both sides of that moment.  I’ve been one of those who is only having Thanksgiving dinner due to the kindness of strangers, the one who maybe didn’t have food in the house before the donation, and probably won’t have food in the house once the turkey is gone…the one who has made a Thanksgiving turkey last for nearly two weeks…and I have been one who has helped deliver holiday dinners to those who might not otherwise get them.

I realize that in my life today I am pretty blessed.  I may not always have a lot of money, but I always have food in the house…I am going to my mother’s today to have a nice meal with my family.  I feel that blessing deep inside of me.

Because of my background, I have a strong sense of giving to others.  Sometimes on a simple one on one basis.  Sometimes on a wider scale.

Two of my favorite wider scale organizations are kiva.org and Heifer International.

Kiva.org is a company that allows you to loan as little as $25 to someone to help them improve their lives. The money is paid back in small increments and once the loan is repaid you can re-loan it or take it back. The people requesting loans are from all around the world, and their needs range from helping their children go to school, to buying basic needs, to improving their small, often home based, business.

Heifer International is an organization that provides livestock and training to families living in impoverished areas of the world…everything from ducklings to water buffalo. For $20 you can give a family a flock of chickens, providing them with eggs that they can eat and sell, and with Heifer’s “pass it on” system, some of the offspring will go to another family in need in the same area.
 
Tomorrow morning I will be making donations to both of these organizations, and probably a few others.  In invite you to do the same.  If these organizations don’t strike your fancy, find another.  There are so many people in this world who need just a little hand.  Pass on some of what you have.  It doesn’t take much to affect someone profusely.
Let’s make Black Friday something better. Something more. Lets take the mentality of today, thankfulness and gratitude for what we have, and pay it forward…pass it on…Pass it On Friday sounds better to me.
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