What I really want for Christmas this year

A time to open our heart to those in need

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, the Times

How many times have you been asked the question “what do you want for Christmas?”

On the surface, it seems innocuous enough, right? But, as I was watching the news regarding the horrifying situation in Aleppo, I realized that our “wants” pale in comparison to others around the world. Children, orphaned by violence, waiting for evacuation in sub-freezing temperatures, are not thinking about presents under a tree. They are wondering if they will survive until morning. It puts things into perspective real quick. And, hopefully, it makes us pause and reevaluate what we teach our kids about the things we think we need versus the things we really need.

In the spirit of being completely honest and forthcoming, my boys are getting a bunch of presents on December 25th. I am not writing this article pretending that I decided to forgo Christmas gifts entirely. I am simply suggesting that approaching a new year affords us the perfect opportunity for reflection and a commitment to embrace change that could result in a brighter 2017. Opening our hearts (and our wallets) to the plight of those in need help to make a difference. I searched the internet for easy access to organizations dedicated to humanitarian assistance:

The United Nations Refugee Agency – delivers emergency aid packages including blankets, bedding, clothes, and heating-fuel. You can make make a one-time gift or subscribe to a monthly donation. Click here: http://bit.ly/2h1bcK8

Doctors Without Borders – just as the name implies, this group of medical professionals travel to areas of the globe in desperate need of emergency treatment and supplies. I love that you can make your donation in honor of someone special. Click here: http://bit.ly/2fTBIcm

Islamic Relief USA – Your money can be allocated to provide humanitarian aid, support or sponsorship to an orphan, or emergency aid. Similarly to the above mentioned organizations, IRUSA has been instrumental in delivering food kits, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals to the people of Aleppo. Click here: http://bit.ly/28Qnb9a

I hope that these links make things a little bit easier in terms of finding a way to contribute. May you all have a very happy holiday, surrounded by those you love. Thanks, as always, for reading each week. I will be back with a super sized Super Six on January 8th, 2017!


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