On Wednesday evening my local Bunco group hosted a fundraiser for our community Angel Tree. The money helps needy families within our community to have a Christmas. With Michigan's poor economy and major job losses within the automotive industry, families are losing homes and barely able to feed or clothe their families much less purchase gifts for beneath the tree.
These are not individuals who are lazy, don't want to work, or are trying to "milk" the systems. The needy in our community have held affluent, well paying jobs, perhaps farmed the soil, worked at automotive assembly plants, or at small businesses within our community. Bottom line: They have lost their jobs and many are facing foreclosure. For the first time in their hard-working life, they are feeling hopeless.
For those of us still fortunate to be employed there is an obligation owed to those that have happened upon hard times. It's a time to rally and pull together as a community to help those in need. As Christmas approaches, there is no greater time to do just that. It's a time to pay it forward. A time to share with others the blessings that we have to offer.
I hope that each of you take a moment to consider how you might help someone within your community who is suffering hardship. Something as simple as a gift card for gas, prepaying a child's school lunches, purchasing an extra gift to donate to your community "Angel Tree", or even a donating time to a shelter. Pay it forward. It's a principle of life and it works every time. "You reap what you sow." My Dad was a pastor and taught me that principle early in life. "Give and it shall be given back to you." I've never been disappointed.