NewBeginnings Gayla 03KENTUCKY (12/14/13) — This article is short, sweet, and simple; but please don’t miss out on its message. If every person reading this takes the challenge with me, we all could make a real difference this holiday season.

Christmas is almost upon us. This time of year is supposed to be filled with cheer and special moments with family and friends. Sadly, for some people this can be a very stressful and depressing time of year. There are families with children who are barely getting by throughout the year. The parents want to give gifts to their kids this Christmas, but they have no idea how they can afford it. There are individuals who have lost loved ones and this season can be extra depressing for them. There are people who this Christmas, like every other day, will be alone.

Do you have food to eat and clothes to wear?
Do you have an adequate house?
Do you pretty much get everything you need and want throughout the year?

I do and many other people do as well. Are you wondering what to give someone who already has everything? Has a family member or friend asked you what you want and you are struggling in trying to tell them something?

If your answers are yes, then join me in doing something that can change someone’s outlook on life or maybe even their life altogether! Take the holiday challenge. The holiday challenge is to find someone in need or an organization that you believe in. Then, instead of telling your loved one an item they could buy you tell them to take the money they were going to spend on you and donate it to the cause you believe in. You could also do the holiday challenge in honor of a deceased loved one. You could even get a group of your co-workers together and give even more. You don’t even have to spend money to do the holiday challenge. Do you have a neighbor who doesn’t have family? Invite them over for Christmas dinner or bring a plate of food to them and stay to chat for a while.

Here are a few ideas of organizations/people to give to:
•    Salvation Army Angel Tree (located at Wal-Mart and local hospitals).
•    Toys for Tots.
•    Sometimes churches have families that they are providing Christmas for. You could give money to the cause.
•    Sponsor a pet from your local humane society.
•    Donate to Make a Wish foundation at
•    Give to your local homeless shelter.
•    Give to military families by googling “Operation Homefront”.
•    Send an anonymous gift card to someone you know that is having a rough time.

"Giving feels good. It is a form of healing. Not just for you as an individual, but for everyone." —Jennifer Beals

Wishing you a blessed holiday season!
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