Advent Calendar Day 12 ~ Charitable/Volunteer Work
As a family we never volunteered to work for a charity. My husband and I have however done charity work through the Harley Davidson Chapter we belong to. Our chapter supports a local home for battered women and children.
Christmas time is when our support is really shown. In fact, you could say this is why I joined the chapter to begin with. You see, about ten years ago I heard about a toy run the chapter was sponsoring. Friends of ours belonged to the chapter and shared the information with us. When I heard the support the chapter gave for the needy, I was sold. My husband had been wanting a Harley. I gave him the down payment for the bike at Christmas, I wanted us to join the chapter.
We joined the chapter and are still members. I have been an elected officer and an appointed officer in the chapter and my husband has been a road captain (one who leads rides). Over the years the way we support the battered womans and children's center has been fairly consistent, although presentations have changed.
In the beginning we road the bikes to the complex where they lived, headed by Santa and his "sleigh" of toys. The women and children came out the complex and we handed them each wrapped gifts. (We always retrieved a list of names, ages and sex of the children that were staying there ahead of time, along with how many mothers there were) We watched them open their gifts and the joy it brought to their faces. When all was said and done, a check was presented to the organization, usually in the amount of a few thousand dollars. Our donations have helped fund necessities for those who found themselves in need of their services.
Over the years privacy and security have changed things a bit and the families meet the chapter members at a local pizza parlor where each mother and her children are presented with gift cards to spend as they please. The organization is then presented with our donation check. The families are treated to a pizza lunch on the chapter.
The needs of various people are wide and of many levels. Charity or volunteer work of any type for anyone needy is always in demand, any time of the year. My motto this holiday season, (and added to my Christmas letters in fact) is an offering to think about "giving back" or "paying it forward." As many of you may know, my holiday gift has been given to me already. Making a connection for a very ill woman with her father is the best gift I could have ever received. She thought he was deceased and hadn't seen or spoken with him since she was a toddler, over 30 some odd years. I can not begin to tell you the benefits I have received from this. So go ahead, do what you can for someone, you will reap the benefits, trust me.
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Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!