The Holiday Spirit of Giving

Preparing for the holidays can help you learn about yourself. It’s a chance to get in touch with what makes you feel fulfilled and find the things that make you happy.

I want to share 3 ways I plan to give and I hope to inspire you to do the same this holiday season.

  1. Donate to the local humane shelter
  2. Take toys and necessities to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  3. Buy an extra Contributor paper this month

The Sumner County Humane Shelter has a very special place in my heart. At the age of 4, this is where I picked out my very first pet. I was able to go in and spend time with the kittens, that’s when I chose the tiniest black kitten in the very back of a crate. I crawled all the way in to find her!

The Humane Shelter hosts 5K runs, a “dining with dogs” and rescue and host various other events to raise money to rescue and solve helping animals that often have no hope. It is encouraged to come and visit with the animals that are looking for a home.

Since Shiloh (my not so little English Mastiff) recently came into my life, I have a new appreciation for the love and joy that she fills my heart with. This felt like the perfect way for me to be involved and give back this holiday season! These pets deserve warm and loving homes, and while they are spending their time at the shelter, I hope they can have plenty of treats and food.

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is a few blocks from my house. I pass it every day and I often keep the children and their families in my prayers and in my heart. Reality is their Christmas may be spent in their hospital room. With that being said, the parents of the children are focused on the health of their child and shopping for toys are in the back of their minds.

The wish list is full of toys and books, family and self-care items, clothing, arts and crafts, and so many other things that they are in need of for the children and their families. These are simple items such as stickers, plastic bags, Legos and books. All of these are things you can grab at the store while shopping for your own household needs. These small items can make an “okay” day a good one for a child patient.

The Contributor is a nonprofit, social enterprise that publishes a weekly street newspaper sold by people experiencing homelessness and poverty. New vendors interview, train, and receive a yellow badge with 15 free newspapers to get started. Then the vendors grow and purchase their copy of The Contributor for $0.75, which they then sell on the street for $2. This is then the vendors money to keep for themselves.

I often see the vendors on the side streets in the Nashville area and at major intersections, waiting for a smile and a conversation with someone looking to buy a newspaper and help them grow their own micro-business. This month I bought a paper, and then a few days later I noticed another vendor. My first thought was that I had already bought one for that week and I didn’t need to buy another. But then I thought to myself, I have two extra dollars today, they need it more than me.

This small act helped them more than I probably could imagine. We all have some spare change at the end of the week we can give to these vendors, who are working towards making a difference in their lives.

Remember NO act of kindness is too big or too small.

Sincerely,

Shelby Lynn

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