My parents taught me, my sister Julie and brothers Bruce, Mike and Jeff, that it was better to give than to receive. At the young age of five, however; that concept was a bit difficult to grasp. I remember one summer watching my mom load some of our toys, games and clothes into the backseat of our station wagon. We were told that the items were going to be donated to our church rummage sale and the money from this sale would be given to the local food pantry. As a five year old, I felt like my mother was stealing from us and wondered to whom I could report this crime to so she would stop. I thought to myself, if this were my toy, she had no right to take it away from me even if I hadn’t used it in months. Much to my dismay, this became an annual tradition in our household. It wasn’t until I was much older that I could appreciate the significance of this act and how not everyone in America was as blessed as my family.
As a young adult, I became aware of other c...
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...e from the Angel Tree through the Salvation Army and provide Christmas for a needy child. She would say “I can’t think of a thing that I really need.” All of us were in agreement and enjoyed the experience and fulfillment of making sure a child was not forgotten on Christmas.
Charity may begin at home but it certainly doesn’t have to end there. I am proud to hear on the news about how the United States is helping in the relief efforts in Haiti after the recent earthquake. Thanks to the values that have been instilled in me, I plan to make a financial contribution to these efforts and I hope others will follow suit. I am comforted to know that there are people not just in my community but around the world that are willing to lend a hand of support to friends, family and to people they will likely never meet. I am proud to be an American, a nation of givers.
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