Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Black Friday" and more

There are names for our holiday shopping days: "Black Friday", "Small Business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday". And now there's a movement called "Giving Tuesday" to encourage and celebrate charitable giving.

I think of this as balancing the scales from being weighted towards consuming goods to also investing in good, charitable causes. "Giving Tuesday" will be on December 2nd this year, and at CCSC, we're going pay attention to our on-line traffic that day.

I enjoy hearing stories of how families creatively weave philanthropy into their lives. A few years ago, a CCSC family created a tradition in which the adults give only charitable gifts to each other. They still give toys to the children, but on Christmas morning the adults exchange envelopes, showing which nonprofit they gave to, in honor of each family member. The children are intentionally part of this gift exchange, in hopes it will influence them as they become adults.

So think about ways you can include giving in your Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. It doesn't have to be big or complex, but instead should be meaningful and match your values & interests.

PS  Speaking of "Black Friday", swing by the Sunshine Resale Shop to see if they have any holiday gifts for the people you love. The shop will have more than a few one-of-a-kind gifts like the one below.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Today is a special day

This morning we dedicated one of our buildings in memory of our founder, Reverend J. Dean Robinson. Dean had big ideas and a generous heart, so a large sign with his name on it is now on the outside of our building. Friends and family gathered as Dean’s minister, Dr. Tom Pace from St. Luke’s Methodist, dedicated the building. 
Pictured below are Dean's brother-in-law, sister, son and wife along with Dr. Pace and me.

And then tonight, we have our “service of remembrance” in which we call out the names of the volunteers who died in the previous year. Reverend Blair Parker from Bethany Christian Church will lead us in remembering the 21 people listed at the bottom of this blog.

So today is about honoring those who gave their time to CCSC’s work. None of these people are famous by the world’s standards, but true excellence has little to do with outward signs of success. True excellence is about character, values, and how you treat others.  
The people I have the privilege of working with – staff, volunteers, funders, clergy – are intentional in living Christ-like lives. So they influence me to be more generous, more forgiving, more open to ways of living that benefit others.

So I ask: who are the people who most influence your life, and if the influences are good, have you ever thanked them for who they are to you?

Remembering these volunteers who died over the previous year:

            John Baker                                           Everett Marley
            Dorothy Berry                                     Kim McElfresh
            Toby Boyer                                           George Nevers
            Ben Campbell                             Rev. Dean Robinson
            Kenneth Dorman                Dorothy “Sue” Shanklin
            Claire Fricke                                 Theo Doris Sobotik
            Nancy Elizabeth Garfield                   Terry Stewart
            Harvey Hawkins                                              Vi Stolz
            Rev. Harold Heckmann                   George Stringer
            Dan Henley                                      Miles Woodward
            Bill Lamont