More kids taking on projects to benefit people in need
It is so wonderful to witness more children and youth volunteering and organizing benefits for people most in need in the Denver community. Below are the stories of two enthusiastic givers who want to make a difference in the world.
Big heart, small package
Sometimes the biggest hearts come in small packages.
For Grace’s 12th birthday party, she asked family and friends to collect toiletries and help her pack 100 sack lunches for residents at Samaritan House. She used her babysitting money to buy peanut butter, jelly, Oreos, water, and apples to fill the lunches. All her parents did was drive her to Costco. Grace did the rest.
I’m thrilled to share that more and more children are contacting Catholic Charities and its ministries, offering to collect items or donate time to help families and individuals in need.
“Her dad and I are in awe because she did it completely on her own,” said Grace’ smom, Annie.
After delivering the donations to the shelter, Grace said, “I had a happy heart, because I felt I did a good thing.”
The difference one person can make
Tabitha, 13 years old, called Marisol Health over the summer, saying she wanted to coordinate a baby shower for its Denver clinic. Two months later, Tabitha arrived at the clinic with her mom and a carload filled with gifts; six car seats, boxes of diapers and new baby clothing.
When asked about her motivation to hold the baby showers, Tabitha wrote: “Thank you so much for letting me have the opportunity to run this baby shower. … I have always had babies in danger of abortion and their mothers, fathers, and families very close to my heart, because of my little siblings. They have shown me that children and babies are people; and how precious and invaluable those people are. Also, their mothers are at a crisis in their lives; they have a huge responsibility that God has given them, and they cannot be left to carry it alone. About a year and a half ago, one of the home school moms who leads a lot of activities set up a tour of the Marisol facility in Denver. We participated in that, and it was then that I was made aware of Marisol. … I just loved thinking about the recipients of the donations. While I was folding baby clothes, I thought about the babies who would wear them – babies who had been saved from a gruesome death. The handling of tangible things led me to almost a new understanding of how much difference one person can make, or not make, and that I can choose to do these things, even if it is only possible for me at a given moment to pray. I am so thankful for that, and hope to remember it for the rest of my life.”
Shelly's Sugar Cookies
Download this easy and delicious recipe and bake with your family!
Children's Advent Calendar of kindness
Use this calendar for ideas on encouraging kids to be charitable this Advent season.
From Grinch to grin: 5 ways to de-stress during the holidays
By Dr. Jim Langley
St. Raphael Counseling
Baked turkey, fried turkey, or smoked turkey? Can’t decide? Do all three! Black Friday sales, office parties, school plays, Christmas lists, Christmas shopping, Christmas Eve (at your parents), Christmas Day (in-laws this year), and … Christmas bills. You’re overstretched, overwhelmed, and probably overweight too!
But does it really have to be this way? What if your holiday season was what you always wanted it to be—joyful, peaceful, and full of memories you’ll cherish forever? Maybe the problem isn’t so much that you’re not doing enough, but because you’re doing too much. Take a look at these five ways to destress during this most wonderful time of the year:
- Give back. Our anxiety is often due to the fact that we’re too focused on ourselves. It is paradoxical, but true, taking time to get outside of ourselves and living in another’s shoes even just for a few hours helps us forget about our own worries for a while. Need an idea? Check out Adopt-a-Family or volunteering to serve a Christmas meal at Samaritan House.
- Don’t keep up with the Joneses. The commercials tell us that we need to get the perfect gift for that special someone. And all of your kids. And pretty much everyone we know. Of course, gift-giving is part of the fun of the season, but remember what is truly important. Try setting a budget and sticking to it … your 2019 bank account will thank you!
- Go on a special date.This time of year, we spend time with those we love, but it is often connection with our spouse that suffers! Take time to reinvest in the marriage by taking advantage of the many opportunities around Denver like the Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
- Get some rest. Late night parties and early Christmas mornings can throw off your sleeping habits. Go ahead and budget in some extra sleep this year. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning or a relaxing evening in can go a long way.
- Learn to say ‘no’.There truly are more parties to go to, cookies to bake, people to see, and presents to buy than you really have time for. Make a list of the most important things, especially traditions and relationships. Remember, when you say “yes” to one thing you might not really want to do, you’re saying “no” to something else that might be more important. Remember last 2018’s New Year’s resolution where you committed to being less stressed? There is still time to reach your goal!