One thing many people love about Columbia is the giving nature of our population. We are a pretty generous community. There are many local organizations to give of your time talent or treasure, and many well deserving non-profits would love to have some extra helping hands, this time of year or any other time. Local grass roots efforts as well as larger powerhouse non profits are available for you to choose to give back to, and I encourage you to at least visit one that interests you and what you care about in this world. It’s good for your soul, and it puts your own life and wants and needs into perspective in a big way.
My son and I recently spent an hour at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri to pack buddy packs with his school’s student council. This is my son’s first time as a student council rep and he was eager to use his new position for some community good (this is the 9 year old who, having found out he won his first election, decided his first act as civil servant was to fix the potholes in the school parking lot).
Do I wish we spent more of our actual time giving back? Yes I do. But we do try to give every chance we get – through our church, through our school activities and whenever we can. But this trip really opened my eyes. Mr. Tim at the Food Bank was really great with the kids. After a somewhat cut throat yet rousing game of Simon Says he created an assembly line of the kids to pack the Buddy Packs.
He first told them what and who they were doing it for. Mr. Tim made it clear that the packs they got, the one pack they were senthome with on Friday, was maybe the only full meal the child might get for the weekend. He also made it clear that in life, we all need a little help now and then, and that there is nothing wrong with giving help or getting it in return. He turned the kids into these little inspired well oiled machines, packing the bags and getting them ready on the pallets.
In less than 40 minutes the kids packed over 200 buddy packs for needy kids. Our experience there was very uplifting. Obviously that’s not why you do things like this but like I said, being good for the soul is a positive by product of making our world a better place.
The Food Bank obviously gets a lot of press in this area. They’ve become one of those powerhouses. The need is great in our community for what they do so if that’s your charity of choice I urge you to keep giving. But there are many other worthy causes to consider, so do your research. There’s one in this area that will speak to your heart.
If you can’t give your time, give $5. Go learn about what they do, see what they are all about, and meet the people that make it happen every day. They truly are inspired by what they do and they are willing to work hard to make other peoples’ lives a better place. I think I’ll take my daughter to the humane society next, and spend some time there. I plan to make it part of our regular routine to learn about different opportunities to give back in our community and to find one that inspires them to “be the change they want to see in the world.”
Which local causes do you support and why? I’d love to hear your story. Post your charity of choice below and let’s get the word out!