by Michelle Wilcox, Chief Operating Officer
As the Holiday Season approaches, the team at Crossroads begins to think about how we can help the people we serve access resources to celebrate the holidays in ways that are meaningful to them, and in keeping with each persons’ traditions. Likewise, numerous Crossroads’ donors also begin planning their end of year charitable giving. For some of our supporters, this has often included purchasing holiday gifts for children and adults in need. While many generous people find great joy in the act of shopping for, and choosing gifts for those in need, this year I’d like to ask our kind donors to consider an alternative to this practice.
Think for a moment, about how good it makes you feel when you choose that perfect gift for someone you love. Perhaps it’s something that they’ve been hoping for, or maybe it’s a special surprise that you just know will make them happy. The act of giving can bring so much pleasure, often more joy than receiving a desired gift.
Now imagine how disappointing it must feel to both lack the resources to purchase that special something for the one you love, but then to also have a stranger choose and buy that holiday gift instead. For people who are experiencing homelessness, and financially in need, the Holiday Season can be extremely difficult, and it often brings feelings of great sadness. For parents, the inability to provide their children with the gifts they desire, whether it be what they are asking for from “Santa”, or those things that they want just like every other child does, can feel so disheartening and demeaning. As if being homeless at the holidays weren’t difficult enough, and then the gift that you give to your partner, best friend, or child was actually chosen by someone else.
But this is where you, our amazing donor, can have such an impact this year. As you think about making a holiday gift, consider the Crossroads client who needs your financial help. Then, instead of buying gifts for those in need, help by donating gift cards, and enabling those we serve to purchase their own gifts – the ones that they can choose themselves, and experience the joy that comes with seeing a loved one unwrap that carefully chosen present, knowing it was bought with love.
This year, if you can support Crossroads for the holidays, please purchase gift cards – from places like Target, Walmart, grocery markets at any denominations – so that our dedicated team can distribute them to the people we serve, and they can be empowered and feel the warmth that comes from the Season of Giving thanks to you!