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How About a Year-Round “Season for Sharing”?

December 6, 2010

How About a Year-Round “Season for Sharing”?

The holiday spirit is in the air, on the radio, on television, in stores, on our minds, and hopefully, most of all in our hearts. The biggest newspaper in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic, and the local NBC affiliate, 12 News, have a charitable campaign during time of year called “Season for Sharing.” It’s a wonderful program and donations are matched fifty cents on the dollar. Similar campaigns take place in many other cities and communities throughout the holiday season. This is also the time of year when more people make a special effort to extend themselves to help those in need though volunteer efforts and support for local, national, and international causes. It’s truly heartwarming to see this incredible outreach.

It is interesting how seasonal this phenomenon seems to be. The only other times that we generally see such a generous spirit of giving and helping is when huge catastrophes occur. We’ve seen it in our tremendous reactions to Katrina, tsunamis, and the earthquakes in Haiti and Chili.

So the question occurs to me, why can’t the “season for sharing” last all year? The needs in our community do not go away. There are year-round challenges. I realize that year-end donations in the United States are driven by the tax code, and people time their contributions to qualify for deductions before the year ends. However the spirit of giving is broader than financial generosity.

The need for volunteers and donations of time, skills, and energy are not seasonal. Many community causes and organizations need help all year. How can we make that part of the “season for sharing” year round?

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie-Mellon University professor who died from pancreatic cancer, and was the author of The Last Lecture, spoke about the benefits of “enabling the dreams of others.” One simple way we can give a gift of ourselves all year is simply by helping enable the dreams of people in our lives, as well as those we don’t know but need our support, love, and devotion to making a positive difference. It’s about offering a hand up instead of a hand out.

Ultimately, extending your holiday spirit and your season for sharing to all twelve months may be the best gift you give to yourself. The fulfillment and sense of purpose you gain will add meaning to your life. The intangible and heartfelt rewards will multiply with your efforts and you can enrich the lives of others in amazing ways.

Join me and making every season a “season for sharing” who we are and what we can do to make our community and world a better place.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in “Times of Renewal and Rejuvenation.

We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wednesday’s post will be “Imagine the Possibilities . . .”

Steve Weitzenkorn

Steve Weitzenkorn, Ph.D., is a learning innovator, organizational advisor, experienced facilitator, and lead author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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