We have lost too many family members and friends this year. This is the kind of event that really puts things into perspective for me. When I was younger I tended to take everyone and everything for granted. One of the really important things I’ve learned was that everyone matters. I learned this from a friend of a family who was never too busy to call or stop by and see how you were doing. Earlier in 2021 I joined a Facebook group that sends cards and letters to people who are sick or housebound or simply going through a rough time and are in need of encouragement. I am completely stymied by the number of people in need in our world. On one hand it breaks my heart to see people in physical or emotional pain, but on the other hand, it is gratifying to know that I maybe can’t help everyone, but I can help someone.
I have encountered a group called Choose Love (chooselove.org). They do whatever it takes to provide refugees and displaced people with everything from lifesaving search and rescue boats to food and legal advice. They elevate the voices and visibility of refugees and galvanize public support for agile community organizations providing vital support to refugees along migration routes globally.
Choose Love spans 15 countries. In just five years, they have reached one million refugees and raised tens of millions for nearly 150 organizations providing vital support at every stage along migration routes from Europe to the Middle East and along the US-Mexico border. Choose Love is based in the U.K., and if you visit their website they will illustrate all the ways we can work together to make the world a better place.
In an office building today I saw signs for a sock collection to help the needy and homeless. This is a great time of year to extend this help. I remember when I was working in our downtown area. I can’t tell you how many bare ankles I saw during the cold, snowy winters. Socks are an easy thing to get and give. Just drop them off at your local shelter or soup kitchen. While researching this post, I came across an organization called “GiveSocks” (https://www.givesocks.org/). According to their site, socks are one of the most requested items and one of the least donated. People also need underwear, clothing, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, diapers, blankets and first-aid supplies, just like us! On a typical night in 2018, 553,000 people were homeless in one particular night, and of those, 1/3 were unsheltered. You may want to check this site out. It is thought-provoking and informative.
Have a safe and healthy New Year.
“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself.” Jim Henson