A Time of Giving
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, I think we can all agree that the time from Thanksgiving until New Year’s is traditionally a season of giving back in the U.S.
There are so many organizations that work to make life better for others: Toys For Tots, The Salvation Army, and others. Many schools and churches have a giving tree of handy items and gifts to donate to families in need. I attended several holiday parties this year where the hosts requested that guests bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots in lieu of a hostess gift. It is so heartwarming, and so very American!
Giving Back with our Cluster
I try to demonstrate our goodwill for the au pairs in my cluster by holding a cluster meeting at Inspirica in Stamford every year. Inspirica is a nonprofit organization that provides learning opportunities, housing, and support services to people overcoming homelessness in lower Fairfield County.
Each year local corporations and organizations donate gifts for underprivileged children in Fairfield County. Inspirica hosts a wrapping party comprised of volunteers from many different organizations who help wrap the donated gifts. There is a DJ and food, and it's a very festive way to get into the holiday spirit while helping those in need. The wrapped presents are then distributed to local charities and children who would not otherwise be receiving presents this holiday.
We have done this for the past several years, with many host families and host children attending as well. I think it is a great experience for children. It helps them appreciate how fortunate they are and how good it feels to help someone else who may not be as blessed.
"I think the most important message of the season is one of giving and helping and I hope this is one American value that our au pairs take home."
Americans may have a reputation for gross consumerism and abundance, but we also have big hearts. And while we all work hard to put presents under the tree, we also don’t want anyone to go without. I think the most important message of the season is one of giving and helping and I hope this is one American value that our au pairs take home.