Thursday, December 4, 2014

Small Gestures

by Judy

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."   

Some say the above quote is Plato's.  Others attribute it to Scottish author, Ian Maclaren.  To me, it doesn't matter whether it's from a Greek author and philosopher, or a Scottish author, it has long been one of my very favorite quotes, and one I try to remember as I go through my busy days.  

All of the posts this week from Terri, Kelly and Susan have spoken about kindness and of  'being the light', and my post today continues on that theme. 

I consider myself a very empathetic person.  I can put myself in someone else's shoes in a heart beat, and can be jumping for joy with them over happy news, or sobbing uncontrollably with them, or for them, over sad news.

The holiday season is a time that I always find myself really noticing those around me.  The little girl with the tattered coat.  The man with the gaping hole in the side of his shoe.  The woman with the worried look on her face as she buys her groceries.  I become acutely aware that this is not an enjoyable time for many people, and I say a silent prayer that they may find the strength to get through this time and find peace and happiness in the new year. 

I know that it is impossible to help each and every person who needs it, but I remind myself that small gestures can make a big difference. Let's 'be the light' for those who need it the most this time of year. I know that your kind hearts volunteer and donate to many different charities throughout the year, as do I, but if you're struggling to find places in your community where you can help out, or if you'd just like to do more this holiday season, I've found some great charities that really make a difference that I'd like to share with you.  

  • The Christmas Tree Project, which collects and donates Christmas trees, decorations and gifts.  You can find them at
  • The Every Cork Counts Campaign.  Gallo Family Vineyards, gives $5 for each cork they receive to Meals on Wheels Association of America.  You can find them at
  • Share Your Soles accepts all kinds of gently worn, or new shoes and warm boots.  Visit them at
  • Scarves with a Purpose collects your handmade scarves and mails them to low-income schools, homeless shelters, and other groups.  They can be found at
  • One Warm Coat works to help the 15% of Americans who can't afford a warm coat.  Visit them at 
Wishes to all of you for a happy holiday season, and may your days be merry and bright!


Dotti said...

What a beautiful post and picture, Judy! Yes, this time of year we too often forget those who have less than we have. My daughter and I started a Christmas tradition when my granddaughter was 18 months old, still too young to understand but we knew she would eventually. Each year we pick an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree at our church. And all three of us go shopping for the items on our angel's list. Each year as she's gotten older, my granddaughter has gotten more and more into the spirit of it, the understanding of why we do it, and now she makes all the choices about what to get for our angel. We wanted to teach her early that the true spirit of Christmas comes from helping others who may be less fortunate than we are. And as you say, there are so many ways to help, if we just take the time to educate ourselves. You've given us a great list to get started.

terriporter said...

Wonderful and timely post, Judy. This is definitely a time of year when we look at all we have and realize how lucky we are and how there are so many who are not as lucky. One small step our family has made is to donate blankets and sleeping bags to Andre House of Hospitality, a ministry to the homeless and poor populations in the Phoenix area. Most people would not think of Phoenix as needing blankets but our temps do drop below freezing in the winter and there are so many people who could use a warm blanket. My family laughs that I have chosen this charity to give to time and again because I hate being cold so much and can't bear to think of these people on the street without even so much as a blanket to keep warm. But you are so right that there are millions of places we can give our time and our money to help those less fortunate. Yes, small gestures can make such a big difference. Thank you, Judy, for this reminder.

AFishGirl said...

It's so very true. I have that quote on FB and believe me, I don't do much on FB. It is one of my favourite quotes too. Yes, everything makes a difference. Every word and gesture. Our thoughts. All of it. Thank you for this post and the links and the beautiful photography.

susan said...

Love this post Judy. Thank you for taking the time and putting up those important links. Beautiful! Just like you my friend! ... xo

Deanna said...

Thank you Judy for this gentle reminder of how fortunate we are and how we can make a difference in someone's life this Christmas. There are so many ways to help and thank you so much for this wonderful list of ways we can share our good fortune with those with less.

Linda said...

Such a beautiful post! You and I have something in common.....we are both very sensitive to others' needs and feelings. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

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