The other day our sweet 3.5 year old told me “I want to give some of my toys to kids that do not have any.” As a mother this is one of those super proud mom moments. Wait for it. “Mommy then I want to get new toys for me.” Hahaha there it is. Gotta love the honesty and clever mind of a child. Because that is pretty much exactly what is going to happen. We will donate some of his and brothers toys to some less fortunate than us and then Christmas comes and they will get a TON of new toys and clothes from us, Santa, 2 sets of grandparents and 2 adoring great grandmas. I want to teach my boys the importance of giving and that Christmas is NOT all about getting!

Charity is defined as the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.

We can write a check, donate a coat, adopt a child or feed the elderly. These are all amazing, admirable and charitable ways to give back to our fellow human beings, especially during this holiday season. Knowing and acknowledging those in need and acting with a generous spirit is important. So many people need help. 

Too often my husband and I have the best of intentions to give more and do charity work but we always make an excuse that there is no good time. It is easier to look the other way and stay consumed with ourselves. I am guilty of that daily. I am more worried about what I’m going to wear to holiday parties, clever ideas for T-Rex our “Elf on the Shelf” and if our Christmas cards will turn out cute.  That’s what we call first world problems.  

We usually adopt a couple kids through our church at Christmastime but I always find myself wanting to do more. You can donate in many ways the important thing is that you are trying to help someone in need. There are so many charities out there but which ones do I choose? A shelter, hospital, school, nonprofit?

So I googled “charity 2015” and found out that today, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), December 1, is #GivingTuesday, the designated day for donating to charities. As we give thanks this Thanksgiving week, please also remember the causes you care about and donate to trustworthy charities on December 1 and throughout the year. – See more at: 


I didn’t even know that #GivingTuesday was a thing. Like a lot of people I have been sifting through hundreds of cyber Monday sale emails trying to get the best deals for all the gifts on our lists. The real deal is to help others this season, myself included. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE donation to make a difference in someone’s life.  

I can only lead by example for my boys. I definitely think teaching them to give to the less fortunate and showing them how some people live is necessary for them to truly appreciate the privileged life we lead. 

Seeing those who live in poor and deplorable conditions in our home town is one of the most vivid childhood memories I have. It was so sad and scary and that was 25+ years ago.

My parents are very humble and do not talk much about their charitable giving but I will because I am so proud of my parents for showing it to us. They would find needy families to adopt through a friend who worked at a very poor school. My mom would take us to Target & Mervyn’s (I hope some of you remember Mervyn’s) to pick out clothes, toys and food for them and then drive out to deliver them in person. The images of these homes are burned in my mind and it brings tears to my eyes. Imagine hoarders with ashtrays overflowing with cigarettes, the smell of un-bathed people, mounds of trash and no lights on in the house. These were not even homes they were shacks. The sadness in the shy children’s eyes still haunts me. 

Now my parents adopt children from a low income school in town and do the same thing except they anonymously watch the children open their gifts and it brings them such joy to see how happy they are. 

My cousins and I did a lot of work with the Day Center for the Homeless when we were younger and for our community service hours. I vividly remember the people, sounds and smells of that place. I liked seeing how thrilled they were to get toiletries and a hot meal. So I went online and filled out a volunteer application for the Day Center for the Homeless yesterday  http://www.tulsadaycenter.org and today my husband and I are going a tour to see when and where we can volunteer! 

I am NO mother Theresa ok, but I can only hope that my boys will continue to have a giving spirit and that we teach them importance of giving not just getting!
Anonymous or in person, silently or shout it from the social media rooftops, spread the word and encourage others to give, donate or volunteer. Please feel free to comment or share my blog.

#GivingTuesday #justhappymommy #thankful