Agree to Disagree: Receiving out of Giving

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Last Wednesday, I spent the day doing something very special: I volunteered at the food and toy distribution centre for the Children’s Christmas Fund.

The organization, spearheaded by the Service Club Council, puts food on the table and presents under the tree for more than 12oo families in our area.

Oh, how I wish I could be a fly to see the smiles on the little ones as they open the pile of presents Santa will have brought them this year! Oh, how I would love to be able to smell the turkeys and the hams cooking away on Christmas day!

Standing out there, looking at the pile of food gathered by our community, in awe at the quality of toys donated by businesses and individuals, I truly realized how special Cornwall is. Of course, there is bad–there is in every community, like the guy who stole 5-10 toy bags and ran–and you hear about it all the time. But I’ve volunteered in much bigger cities and really, the level of caring Cornwallites have for one another is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

As loving parents came through to pick toys for their children, my heart filled up with joy, love and gratitude. Gratitude not only for everything I have in my life but also for the opportunity to be a part of all this. Honestly, a diamond ring could not possibly bring about as much joy as I have had giving my time to this wonderful cause, alongside with my friends and family. That’s the true gift to me: knowing that I am making a difference in a kid’s Christmas. By giving of myself, I received so much more! My Christmas couldn’t be more complete.

See, my husband and I also involved our children in the process. I see it in them; this raw want to do good, this eagerness to help others. It makes me so proud. That in itself is a gift: knowing that I am raising caring individuals.

The world runs on the back of volunteers. This is especially true in Cornwall and crucial during the holidays. It is comforting to know that my children and other volunteer’s children, will be there to ensure the continuity of programs like the Children’s Christmas Funds for generations to come. Children benefiting from these programs will also give back to the community. They will grow up to remember how volunteers made a difference in their childhood and in turn, hopefully, spread out the same Christmas Cheer.

As 2017 comes to an end, I want to take this time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season. May your homes be packed with loved ones, your bellies filled with scrumptious food and your hearts overflowing with love, joy and thankfulness.

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