Gifts with a conscience
This past year has not been a financially lucrative time for the people of Galesburg and surrounding communities with the final closing of Maytag, Butler and other industries offering decent paying jobs. Many are now drawing the last of their unemployment and still have no prospects of a good job. The holiday season only adds to feelings of low self esteem and the stress unemployment.
I was shocked and ashamed to hear Jimmy Carter, interviewed on the PBS program NOW talk about yes we are one of the wealthiest countries on the face of the planet but also one of the stingiest. Americans give on the average 16 cents per hundred dollars to world wide charitable organizations that feed the poor and hungry while other countries average 44 cents per hundred dollars leaving us the last on the list of those who give.
This holiday season if you and your family have your health, a roof over your head, food- the basics why not count your blessings and share some of your wealth with less fortunate friends, neighbors, fellow Americans, fellow travelers or the animals with which we share this wonderful planet.
Safe Harbor is collecting foods and unused toys for those less fortunate. They are located at 1188 W Main here in Galesburg. The Bondi Building is collecting for them as well; items can be left at the Bondi office 311 E Main, Suite 208.
United Way can be found on the second floor of the Bondi Building as well. They collect new toys and donations of money.
Why not drop some coins or dollars into the Salvation Army Pot. They give world wide to many causes throughout the year.
Access the Sierra Club on the internet (sierraclub.org) and you give the gift that gives twice. Known for its valiant fights to save the environment and animals a gift of $25 will send their beautiful award winning photographic nature magazine to someone on your list and give money to the cause.
The Prairie Land Animal Welfare Center (formerly the Knox County Humane Society) is over run with abandoned animals this time of year and in need of monetary donations. Monies go to spay and neuter programs that reduce unwanted animal populations.
Your gift to The American Red Cross will be felt worldwide and year round. They respond to all disasters with resources of food, water and volunteers.
Many of our area wide and local churches do food drives for local populations and worldwide. IÕm sure a check with explanation for those monies would be well received.
Your donations to Saint JudeÕs Hospital will make care available to children that could not otherwise afford very expensive treatment. Access them on the internet.
These are only a few of the most outstanding charities available to you. You may have your own favorite charity. ItÕs not as important that you give to any specific charity but that you give something. LetÕs not continue to go down in the history books as land of the free, the brave and the stingy. Till next time, Rebecca