You know, there are lots of needs out in the world 24/7. I do try to do my part and donate what I can to help. Sure, I have tough times just like the next person. For the first time, I believe, in my life I'm witnessing a recession. According to FOX News, the unemployment rate is as high as it was in 1983. Now, being born in 1974, I don't remember that much about 1983 other than my sister graduated from high school, she got married and my nephew, from another sister, was born. That's it! Yeah, you can go ahead and say that I lived a very sheltered life because it's true. All I cared about was playing with my friends and Barbies. News was pretty much boring to me until the past 10-12 years. The only time I watched the news was to see if it was going to rain the next day or if we were expecting snow, so I could skip school. So, I can't compare today with 1983.
Saying all of this, there are so many people with out jobs, money, and security. They need us more than ever this year. I feel like God has put this on my heart because he expects us to take care of those who have nothing. He has blessed me and my family beyond words. Sure there are needy people that need our help 365 days and not just around the holidays. But for some reason He has laid this on my heart to remind all of us to help our fellow man. I wanted to make sure to get this word out and if there is anything that you can do to help someone else during the Fall and Winter months, I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.
In the past, I've helped with Shoeboxes of Love, Cozy Coats fundraisers, Adopt an Angel from either the Salvation Army or our church, food banks and of course, cash donations to my favorite charities. I mentioned these programs to get the wheels in your head to turning. If you don't know if you have these programs available, do the research and find out. If not, this would be a great opportunity for you to step up and receive a wonderful blessing.
I'm planning to get with our church secretary and see if our donation center "The Caring Center" needs volunteers with any special fundraising this Winter. I think I might skip the Fall Yard Sale and donate a bunch of our clothes, including the kids to the center. If you don't know, "The Caring Center" is an organization funded by our church, Northbrook Baptist Church. They help people that are hard on their luck. We have a wonderful husband and wife team that monitors every prospect carefully. Those that qualify will have access to clothing, food, and sometimes cash donation to pay for gas and/or bills. I didn't realize so many people that either knew about the place or needed their help, until I filled in for our weekday Church Greeter a few times. Man the people that would come in and asked for Nikki, the Missions Director. I also want to involve Katie this year with either the "Adopt an Angel" or "Shoebox" programs. I would like to encourage you to do this as well. Get with your church, co-workers or community to volunteer for a great cause. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. If you don't have time to volunteer, may I encourage you to send funds to an organization. If you would like to send funds, but you don't know who, may I suggest a few great organizations that would appreciate it so very much.
Jimmie Hale Mission
Let me tell you a little bit about The Jimmie Hale Mission. It's a great Christian based organization that helps people (men, women, and children) with providing them with a cozy bed to sleep in, a meal and Christian fellowship. They are located in Birmingham, Alabama. Your money will allow numerous people to get their next meal, shelter from the cold night air and let's not forget security. It was founded by a wonderful family that got people off the streets, provided them with a meal, shelter and feed them spiritually. If you would like to know more information, you can visit their website HERE.
The Children's Hospital of Birmingham
Now, I know there are several Children's Hospitals all over the world. You should be able to find one in your own back yard. This organization is personal for me because I too was once a Children's Hospital patient. You see, I was born with a hole in my heart aka "ADS." Open heart surgery was done in the 70's, but the technology was nothing like it is today. They couldn't operate on me until I weighed approximately 30 pounds, give or take. I didn't weigh that until I was 4 years old. Yeah, I looked like one of those poster children, advertising to feed the hungry children. It's not that my parents didn't feed me, it was I was so sick that it became difficult for me to eat. Meanwhile, my blood wasn't being filtered correctly causing bad blood to flow throughout my body. With the help of doctors and nurses from Children's Hospital and UAB Hospital, I'm kickin' today. Children's is special place for me because I know there are sick kids in there just like me or worse that needs my help. If you would like more information or find a Children's Hospital close to you, you can visit the Birmingham website HERE.
St. Jude Children's Hospital
If you haven't heard of St. Jude's, it is a special hospital solely dedicated to cancer stricken children. They are located in Memphis, Tennessee. Danny Thomas started this organization and his daughter, Marlo Thomas has taken over heading this great hospital. If you would like further information, you can check out their website HERE.
The American Heart Association
My neighbor, Ms. Phipps, got me to donating to this organization. I think the name is pretty much self explanatory. If you would like more information, you can check out their website HERE.
Your Local Church
Of course, this would be a great way to donate and know that your monies will be used the way God had planned.
There are so many great Christian based groups that need your help, please bless someone and yourself by volunteering. It's the best high you'll feel.
If you know of any other great organizations that needs our help and you want to get the word out. Please feel free to send me a comment. List the organization's name along with a website, so that I may check it out. If it's genuinely a Christian based organization, I will be sure to post it just like the above.