Monday, November 30, 2009

Season of Giving

The Thanksgiving feast is over, Black Friday has gone, and happy family stories (can you believe I made a pumpkin pie that looked green?) will be replayed in our collective memory. It is time to move on to the next holiday.

While children may be thinking of presents, new toys, Santa or special foods, many families are suffering. It’s not a new story. We’ve been living with the recession, unemployment, and difficult circumstances for many area families for over a year now. This holiday season I hope you can find different ways to help. No matter what your own circumstances, there is always some small service you can perform. It is a great lesson for your children to take them along and participate in this season of giving.

Here at the library we have our “mitten tree.” We are helping Parsons Child and Family Center with a drive of donated winter mittens, hats, scarves and gloves. The Voorheesville Middle School Builders Club is helping with this drive in the schools and throughout the town. Parsons calls their campaign “Holiday Heroes: Compassion in Action.” I love that name. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an item, but it will be very helpful to the families that Parsons serves. Check out their website to see all the work that is done at Parsons: The mitten tree in our library will be up through December 10th. On Friday, December 11th I will be taking everything over to Parsons for their distribution to children and families.

Today’s Times Union had a piece about a diaper drive for food pantries throughout the Capital District. The Times Union is hosting the drive at their office: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through December 14th. You can read the full story here: This grandma has some leftover diapers that grandchildren have outgrown and I’ll buy some more packages. They aren’t covered by food stamps.

If you don’t want to buy diapers, or mittens, or gloves, you can always drop off an extra can of food, box of pasta, etc. at local food pantries. We have baskets in the library for the New Scotland Food Pantry. If you want to help your children understand the giving part of holiday traditions, let them choose something for the food pantries with you at the grocery store; take them to a department store and let them help choose a scarf, mittens or a hat; or remind them that a dry baby is a happy baby and buy one bag of diapers for a family.
~Joyce Laiosa

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