Dec. 18, 2009: Begin the New Year with a pledge of giving to others, by Jordynn Gumm

When I was a child, I was taught that it is important to share. At first I thought this just applied to toys and candy, but as I have grown older, I realized that sharing is much more than a childhood rule. It should be a way of life.

Service and charity are both examples of sharing. Charity is money or other help that is given to people in need, while service is sharing your time or special talents by doing things for other people without any expectation for something in return. There are many opportunities available today to provide service or charity to others and there is no age limit.

Kids can help others in many ways. Collecting items at school for the food bank or participating in programs like “Hoops for Heart” are just two examples of charity. Helping an elderly neighbor or grandparent by mowing their yard, raking leaves or scooping their snow are all ways that kids can provide service.

There are a lot of things that adults can do to help others. These can include being involved in “Big Brothers, Big Sisters,” donating blood, delivering “Meals on Wheels” and helping neighbors and the elderly with home repairs. Volunteering their time to serve in their local churches or community organizations are other opportunities where adults can share their time and talents.

During the holiday season there seems to be an increased awareness of people who are less fortunate. Many people become more active in volunteering and donating during this time of year, but the needs for those less fortunate do not end when the holidays are over. Their needs go on all year long.

With the New Year just around the corner, I would like to challenge each member of the community to include in your New Year’s resolutions a promise to give some of your time or resources for the benefit of others.

— Jordynn Gumm is an eighth-grader at Concordia Junior High School. She is the daughter of Jeff and Ronda Gumm.

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