The Giving Year

The Giving Year

This is the time of year that we give to those we love and to perfect strangers. As we walk out of the store we hear that familiar sound of the bell ringing and we drop our change in the slot. We decide that we will use part of our holiday funds to provide food or gifts to those less fortunate. We find joy in buying gifts for others instead of gifts for ourselves. People tend to have kinder spirits and compassion towards others.

What would happen if the giving season was spread throughout the whole year? I asked our friends to answer two questions. Who has inspired you recently and what was the last nice thing you did for someone. The answers left me feeling hopeful and happy. It seems we are surrounded by such negative stories and certain actions are glorified by giving them the attention they do not deserve. This, at times, leaves us feeling disappointed in humanity and we lose hope. 

My father taught me to always leave a little piece of myself with everyone I meet. As a child, I didn't really understand how powerful a lesson he was teaching me. Those few precious moments you give of yourself can have a huge impact on someone. An impact we may never understand, or we may never even realize we left with them. Show kindness throughout your day, every day.  Volunteering is a great way to leave a piece of yourself but the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way also.

We keep food journals, we track how many miles we hiked, or how much weight we've lost. I ask you to join me in starting a journal this new year that I believe will change our lives. In your giving journal write down every kind deed you do. It doesn't matter how big or how small. The smallest acts of kindness can make someone's day. Make this year about giving! Volunteer, smile at someone that looks like they are having a bad day, take a sick friend homemade chicken noodle soup, let someone know if they inspired you and thank them, spend time with a child, walk a dog at the shelter or give them a bath, take magazines to cancer patients having treatments, hold the door for someone, send someone a secret giver gift, take first responders cookies when it's not Christmas. This journal is not to boast at the end of the year about all you have done, it will be proof that one person can make a difference. I suspect you will also find that you receive gifts that can not be bought at any store.

We would like to thank everyone that has contributed to our mission this past year. Our mission of spreading our passion for the great outdoors, educating women, empowering women, bringing families together in an atmosphere that promotes bonding, bringing women together to form lasting friendships and support systems, and helping women find their strongest self. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.