Knowing that I’m likely preaching to the choir, and that most of us try to help others and do what’s right all year round, the holiday season brings about an extra effort from many. It’s cold outside and it’s a season that’s supposed to be full of happiness, so it’s even harder to see people going without. So, the number of organizations collecting food, money, clothing… whatever… is up. So, for me, is the annual reminder that not all organizations out during this season are in line with my values. Unfortunately, these groups also have the most money and the biggest organization — the most “boots on the ground.” Giving during this season, therefore, also is a reminder that it’s helping others and staying true to one’s self is not always through the path of least resistance. It requires sometimes some creativity and extra effort.
Rereading this article about a parent banned from her son’s scouting experience reinforced this and seemed the perfect example. Add to this the fact that a child who comes out as gay will also be expelled, and the effort to find other outlets for holiday charity pale when compared to what it means to support organizations that discriminate against both adults and children. So, during this season, if you want to give food, try your local food pantry, student organizations at your local colleges or even check with your postal carrier. Help an organization that does not run counter to your own beliefs be the hero! It’s so worth it.