How many times have you been asked in the past week, ‘have you got your Christmas shopping done?’…about 20? More? As we rush about this Christmas season, we tend to get lost in what we want to buy for others as gifts. Sometimes we forget that we can give gifts that don’t have to cost money as well-like our time.

It can be difficult juggling everything from shopping to holiday baking to getting families together to celebrate, but if you can squeeze just a small amount of time in to volunteer, it could help more than you know. Giving any donation amount-big or small-to charities, non-profit or other organizations with the mission to help people may make a huge difference, especially the more people that do this.

C  Documents and Settings kkelley My Documents My Pictures image2

For example, Corporate Business Systems supports our local Developmental Center of the Ozarks (DCO). We had a group of employees volunteer at their Gift Wrap Booth in the Battlefield Mall at the north JC Penney entrance. Shoppers can stop by the booth to have packages wrapped for a small donation-as little as $3.00-with all proceeds going to DCO. It’s a win-win situation; shoppers get their gifts beautifully wrapped & DCO has a donation to put toward people in need. Businesses & individuals can get a receipt for tax deductions as well. A special thanks to Denise Alvarez, Marketing Coordinator for DCO, for helping us out at the booth!

DCO provides services to help individuals-children & adults-reach & maintain their optimum level of development. They assist individuals with varying levels of developmental disabilities, delays, or physical disabilities, as well as those that are not, through therapeutic, educational, habilitative & rehabilitative programs. Their goal is to promote personal growth through teaching those skills necessary for any citizen of our community to lead full & productive lives. DCO & CBS appreciate the efforts of those who aid them in this goal, & CBS is grateful for DCO’s efforts as well.

Whether it be DCO, Boys & Girls Clubs, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, or any other similar organization, consider the effect you can have as an individual. If everyone gave a small amount at least-in time or money-imagine how large the impact would be if everyone that could, would. It could have benefits you don’t realize until you do it. While I was at the gift wrap booth, a soft spoken man approached me requesting his gifts be wrapped from his wife to himself. While I was taking care of him, he shared their story with me, how his wife-nicknamed ‘Blue Eyes’-has Alzheimer’s, so he buys his gifts from/for her & wraps them up putting them under the tree to open with her on Christmas. He held his wallet out for me to see a picture of his beautiful wife, & recalled the years they were taken. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug; you could see the love for his wife in his eyes. He made MY day, something I hadn’t expected to receive when I was trying to give, & I won’t soon forget him. I’m sure this is how the employees of DCO feel & others who give when the blessing is returned. Give, & ye shall receive.