Sarah Owen, Pres & CEO
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
As we wrap up the year filled with generosity and hard work on the part of all of our supporters, friends, trustees and partners, our team reflects on so much we ALL have to be grateful for. And together we wish you and yours an abundance of peace, love and joy this holiday season.
With our eye on the holidays, our team encouraged me to share a piece that will be featured in this week’s Florida Weekly (Fort Myers and Bonita Springs issues).
To be able to give is such a privilege….
Thank you for being part of our mission.
Holiday Dinners, Dolls and Dignity
Holiday giving is heartwarming. There are so many opportunities to reach out into the community and do something generous for a neighbor.
I don’t think there is any easier time of year to jump right into the act of giving. Walk into the grocery store and drop some bills into an iconic red kettle, stand in the checkout line and donate a turkey, adopt a child or a senior citizen from an angel tree and select a gift to make their holiday brighter.
Join with others from your neighborhood or workplace and provide a special holiday for a family that is struggling, donate toys to a local toy drive or food to an animal shelter, smile at a busy shopper who might look to be having a bad day, the chances to reach out are abundant.
These things make us feel great and connect us to our fellow man. Most of the time we never meet those that we intend to comfort and help this time of year.
That kind of relationship building happens at the nonprofit level with caring case managers, cause area specialists, and volunteers. These are the folks working on the front lines of need and opportunity and create a special combination of resources and compassion.
If we are on the giving side of things it can be easy to unintentionally get caught up in the emotion of how we feel about our donation and lose site of the receiver. Research continually points to the physical and emotional benefits of generosity, but that is only one side of the story.
I learned this lesson several years ago when I joined a group of friends and colleagues to provide a full-on holiday experience to a family that had faced a particularly tough year financially.