No matter how you do it, give thanks

Published 10:54 am Monday, November 9, 2015

Giving back isn’t something I’ve ever been good about doing. I’ve always been rather frugal and not the best at sharing.

With Halloween and Election Day over and Veterans Day and Thanksgiving on the way, people are starting to get in the holiday spirit, and there are ample opportunities for us in Vicksburg to do something for someone else.

This coming weekend The Salvation Army is officially kicking off the Red Kettle Campaign, where volunteers ring bells to encourage people to donate money to The Salvation Army in the red kettles outside businesses, and The Angel Tree Campaign, where people can assist families in financial need by providing presents for children and seniors. Around 420 children and seniors in the Warren County area still need to be adopted this year, and volunteers are needed to help keep the bells ringing.

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Sometimes we can be skeptical of where our money goes once we donate it to an organization. If those doubts make it harder to give out of a wallet, the best option is to give time or even to donate items instead of cash.

Operation Christmas Child is just around the corner with donations being taken at First Baptist Church starting Monday, Nov. 16. Shoebox size plastic containers are to be filled with school supplies, hygiene products and toys for children in other countries.

Businesses, clubs, schools, churches and organizations are encouraged to work together to give. There is no need to take on giving alone when a group can give more as a unit than as individuals.

I’ve been encouraged to see all the charity and generosity in Vicksburg and have chosen to give more to organizations like The United Way this year than I had ever even thought of giving in years past. It was a little disconcerting when I did the math, but the thing is I still feel motivated to try to participate in both of these holiday giving campaigns.

To switch gears a little bit, Veterans Day is Wednesday and we have an opportunity to celebrate those who have given of themselves to our country. Veterans have given in a way that those of us who have not served will never fully understand. It’s important that we as a community give back to them as much as we can.

The Vicksburg Convention Center, Ameristar Casino, Riverwalk Casino, and possibly others, will offer free meals to veterans Wednesday. A 9:30 a.m. parade and an annual ceremony at 11 a.m. in the Memorial Rose Garden will kick the morning off downtown.

Last Saturday would have been my Paw Paw’s 90th birthday and Wednesday marks six years since my Granddaddy’s funeral. Both of them were World War II veterans, but as I understand it, fortunately nether saw much action. I never got around to thanking them for their service, and I’d like to do so now.

No matter how we give our thanks and appreciation, the important part is that we give. Giving can take many forms, and I hope we can each look beyond ourselves this holiday season and provide for others.