Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: December 12 - Charitable/ Volunteer Work


Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women's shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holidays?

While my family did not volunteer with any particular charitable organization, they did nonetheless help with those who were less fortunate each year, both at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas.

The work was usually done through our local church, which sometimes joined with several churches, in order to make a larger impact on the community at large.

Food drives were started well in advance in order to provide each needy household with a canned ham and trimmings for Christmas. Ages and clothing sizes were passed out to individuals who then became responsible for supplying that particular person with a good Christmas. [Usually one outfit of warm winter clothing, and toys for the children.]

As a child, my Mother always had us take our "extra" toys at Thanksgiving to the local fire department who performed toys drives. They took gently used toys, cleaned them up, and gave them out to less fortunate children for Christmas. In this way, everyone got nice toys for Christmas.

It became a way for us to clear out our toy chest to make way for the new toys Santa would be bringing us in a month! The back of Mother's car was almost always filled by the time we got to the fire department! And it was a wonderful way for us to learn charity while still youngsters.

This post is a part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" meme created in 2007 by Thomas and Jasia. You, too, can write your own Christmas memories, either for your personal journal or blog. Visit Geneabloggers to participate and to read others' posts on these topics.

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