I have two children, Simon and Hannah.  Hannah’s only two and a half. She doesn’t quite get what all of the commotion is about.  Simon is five.  He knows what’s going on. Simon is very excited about Christmas.  As most American children, (in my opinion) he’s excited for the wrong reason… GETTING PRESENTS!!! At his age it’s understandable that he knows more about receiving gifts as opposed to giving gifts.  But I promise you I’m working on that.

I think giving is very important. Not just giving any old thing, like an expired can of creamed corn to a food drive or gag gifts during a white-elephant-exchange. I think giving of ourselves and our abundance is an important aspect of our wellbeing.  I reflect on the people whom I’ve known who donated their time to be mentors, coaches, den parents, scout leaders, youth leaders, not to mention my very generous parents, and there are a whole host of people who helped me grow, learn, and understand the importance of community, and investing in community.  That investment can be time or money and it doesn’t have to be completely altruistic.  If my community prospers, after all I am a part of that community, so I prosper too. Mindful offerings benefit the recipient as well as the donor.

During these darker months of the Northern Hemisphere, bringing light into the darkness is a repeated theme among religious and cultural observances.  Colorado Gives Day  is a light that shines during this time, as an easy opportunity to give to causes that are important to us.  If you go to the Colorado Gives Day website  you’ll find hundreds of good organizations from A Childs Dream to Zuma’s Rescue Ranch. Which one speaks to you?

This year I am giving money to Sewall Child Development Center. Sewall is celebrating its 70th anniversary.  Sewall is committed to total inclusion early childhood learning.  They offer intervening services for children with special needs who are completely integrated in high quality pre-school programs.  They offer diagnostics and services for infants.  They coordinate testing and services for Head Start Programs.  They offer family support programs too.  I know the people at Sewall and they are a passionate group dedicated to turning children of all different abilities and circumstances into lifelong learners.

Patty is donating to The Limb Preservation Foundation. The foundation is headed by Dr. Wilkins, MD.  Patty highly respects Dr. Wilkins and Colorado Limb Consultants. She also knows commendable people on the board.  They are located here in Denver and work in conjunction with CSU and School of Veterinary Medicine. She highlights the foundation’s mission statement:   At The Limb Preservation Foundation, we fund hope, help and possibilities for people experiencing limb threatening conditions. Our unique model brings together world-class physicians and researchers, passionate healthcare professionals and patients to advance research, support care and enhance lives.

Lorienne feels moved to donate to Firefly Autism.  The organization looks to transform the lives of children and families who live with autism by using evidenced based interventions, consolidating treatments into one location, and utilizing advanced technologies to facilitate learning and relationships. Lorienne appreciates that the group brings their resources and expertise to rural areas and its emphasis on involving the entire family and not just the child with autism.

Angie is contributing to Safe Harbor Lab Rescue. The dog rescue organization works to shelter abandoned or surrendered Labradors with foster homes until the dogs can be successfully placed with appropriate, loving families. Safe Harbor will take in dogs from vet clinics and shelters when necessary.  They bring in behaviorists when necessary.  All the adoptive homes are thoroughly vetted and they sign covenants with the organization. Angie has a Labrador and that breed holds a special place in her heart.

December 9, 2014 –  Colorado Gives Day.  May it be a calming force for you during the din of holiday busyness.

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