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So, I don’t know what it is about me, but I love to give to others. Last year, I’m not sure how much I spent, but at least $100 went to charities and various giving organizations. I have a few that I do, and I was going to cut back this year, but I didn’t.

One of the first ones is Operation Christmas Child, which is through Samaritan’s Purse. For this, you pack a shoebox full of little toys, toiletries, school supplies like pencils and crayons, and a $7 shipping fee. And Samaritan’s Purse ships the shoeboxes to underdeveloped countries to give to children who will not recieve gifts. Generally, the cut-off date is mid-November, but a few of the drop-off locations are open right through most of December, so you can still fill a shoebox or just make a donation to ship the shoeboxes.

Toys for Tots is the next one that I do. The place where my mom works is a drop off location, so I usually go to Wal-mart or somewhere local and pick one of the Disney Princess toys (I’m a real fan of Belle) and drop that off. I’m kind of disappointed that I can’t wrap it, but I figure that someone will and some little girl is going to get a present on Christmas Morning.

And my church does a giving tree with mittens on it. Each mitten has a gender, an age, and the size of a person (whole families go on this tree, not just children). And the younger children also have likes and dislikes. Last year I did two mittens, a father and a little boy and the little boy liked Ben 10, so I got him a cool shirt and a toy and sweat pants. I spent $40 on six gifts for two people. That’s around $6 a gift, and I spent around $20-$30 for my family, so I don’t… I like to give and give generously.

And I like the giving tree in particular, because they are local families. Not my area directly (apparently the Elks are really good about covering our township. Yeah, Elks!), but the two surrounding townships and our church community. I like giving locally. It’s why I collect for our local food bank, rather than the county or state food bank.

So, I think everyone should try to find a giving event. I know that the Burlington area in Vermont used to do something called Christmas is for Kids, which collected toys for children from infant to 18. And those families were the ones who missed the deadlines for all the other collections. Sometimes these children don’t get anything if they aren’t part of the collections.

And, go ahead and make fun of me, but I like that feeling that I get when I buy for others. I have a home, food, entertainment, so I gladly give what I can. It’s good to do for others. And the fact that I do, shows that somewhere along the line, my parents did something right.

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