The Holidays are upon us. The expectation for how we celebrate them is far different than anything considered normal by any of us. Some families will gather together in small groups, others will visit via Zoom. Our shopping for presents and our religious worship may be online rather than outside of our home.
We have many choices. Our Neighbors in need frequently have far fewer choices.
Celebrating with one’s family is a hardship if your funds are limited for food purchase. Setting up a Christmas tree or decorating one’s home may not be possible or a meager event, particularly if there are no discretionary funds available.
Presents for children and vulnerable adults may be few, unless an organization steps up and assists a family or individual.
Scheduling a Zoom meeting or telephone contact with family members may be an impossibility if some members don’t have the internet, minutes on their phone or the capability to join.
Despite the far fewer calls that have come to our conferences due to COVID-19 initiating suspensions for utilities and evictions, Vincentians have not forgotten their neighbors in need.
Many conferences are planning a giving event for their neighbors for Christmas or perhaps just provided food for Thanksgiving.
Calls requesting help for Christmas are beginning. People are reaching out to find a family that they can help and neighbors are reaching out to provide for their families.
As we create our list of neighbors to help during this season, try reserving judgement as to whether a neighbor may have tapped into more than one resource to provide for their family. Relax your guidelines if someone outside your geographic area truly needs help and you are their only resource. Show your kindness and love to some one who may less grateful than your expectation. Remember the homeless, the elderly, and single parents as they frequently don’t have anyone to rely on in addition to their material needs.
In these difficult times, material goods in their excess, become less important to many of us than the connection to our family and friends.
For those we serve, the basic needs of food and shelter remain a priority in the daily struggle for survival.
Merry Christmas to all and have a safe and healthy New Year.