The Holidays are approaching quickly, and the time of gifting and giving is upon us. As much as we all love opening presents, let’s face it, the joy of receiving yet another bath product that we may never use, or a necktie we may never wear, is very fleeting. I rather love the new tradition a friend of mine started in her family. They created a list of each member’s favorite charity, and donate to to each other’s preference in lieu of a gift. A great idea, especially for the person who “has everything.” Whatever your tradition, the Holidays are the perfect time to think about how we can help others less fortunate, and how to give back.
We’ve all grown accustomed to the sounds of the Salvation Army bells ringing in the Holidays at our local grocery or department store. It’s good to know that all monies that are tossed into the collection basket in your town are actually used specifically to help the needy in your community. Other organizations in your neighborhood may be a local animal shelter, a “Meals on Wheels” program, a Boys and Girls Club, a community food bank or a homeless shelter. If you don’t already have a favorite local charity, there is a wonderful site called Charity Navigator (Your Guide to Intelligent Giving), that will list worthy, vetted organizations in your area by name or theme. They also give tax deduction information, and provide the latest warnings about fraud and robocall scams.
Crisis and disaster victims, such as the survivors of the deadly California wildfires and the recent Fuego volcano eruption in Guatemala, are always in great need of aid. Then there’s Puerto Rico, still struggling a year after Hurricane Maria devastated it. The American Red Cross, which is actually a part of the Global Red Cross Network, is where many turn to for help in these kinds of natural disasters. The United States Agency for International Development has an excellent website: Center for International Disaster Information, that explains how disaster relief works, and offers tools for giving. They explain why monetary contributions are always the best way to help in these kinds of disasters.
Navitas is involved in several charitable activities. We’ve written about them on our blogs from time-to-time and several of them are mentioned in our Get Involved section of this website.
One of the organizations that our company has supported for years is Restoring Hope, which helps underserved children and their families in poor communities in Haiti, and other parts of the world. The leaders of Navitas have signed on once again to sponsor the micronutrient program in Beaudois, Haiti, and a team will be traveling there in January, conducting the 4th-Annual medical/nutrition clinic to help the children in this impoverished area. Micronutrients, mostly vitamins and minerals, play a crucial role in human nutrition, and prevent as well as treat, various diseases. They are paramount in the optimization of physical and mental functioning, especially for young children who are just developing their brains and bones. Lack of proper consumption of micronutrients can lead to stunted growth, rickets, scurvy, osteoporosis and a compromised immune system.
Unfortunately, the need for help is great everywhere. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming that we shut down and give up helping anyone. Many of us live on a fixed income, and feel that we don’t have much to give, but don’t despair. Every charitable organization will tell you that the dollars add up, and every little bit really does count. If you feel that you can’t give money, think about giving your time. Volunteering to care for animals at a shelter, or to read to a lonely senior in elder housing, or to teach someone to read…there is no shortage of ways to give. In fact, a recent blog post, Gifts Come in Many Shapes and Forms explored the idea of gifts of kindness that don’t cost money, only a little thoughtfulness.
In the spirit of the Holidays, Navitas would like to wish all of our friends, colleagues and readers a joyful, meaningful season.
“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
~ Stephen Grellet