A different kind of holiday gift

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 20:00

The holiday season has arrived, and with it many have begun to scurry from store to store looking for the perfect gift for those on their Christmas list. Whether it is a remote control car for little Johnny, or the newest Taylor Swift CD for Sally, the kids have undoubtedly put their requests in, and many parents have begun to fill the holiday orders. After the holiday season passes, parents, kids, neighbors, and friends will return to their normal routines. By spring, many of the holiday gifts that were “must haves” will be set aside, and will become last year’s model, or something we have forgotten we have.

There are however, gifts we can give that cost nothing, they never go out of style, or become an obsolete model. Sometimes it is the time we spend making holiday cookies with our families, the time we spend talking with each other, and the example we set by demonstrating each of us has the ability to make a difference in this world. It may sound cliché, but a different kind of holiday gift can sometimes be the kind that is cherished the most.

In our community, we have a group of teenagers that get together and demonstrate not only the power of one, but the power of a group to make a difference in this world. The Bear Mountain Leo group is a group of teens that in the last year have undertaken 17 different community service projects; including projects that were aimed at supporting our troops overseas. Their projects range from shoe boxes full of goodies for deployed troops, to Thanksgiving baskets for families in our community.

These kids have learned valuable lessons through service; they understand commitment, responsibility, humility, how to set goals and meet deadlines. It is exactly these qualities, and their love of community that earned them a worldwide Lions recognition award this year. The youth in our community have the opportunity to see the effect passion can have in a community, the value of one’s contribution, as well as the power of a group.

If you are looking for something a little different this holiday season, a gift that will last a lifetime, consider giving yourself, or your teen the opportunity to get involved in a community project or organization. Service comes in many packages, all with the same goal: to do something good, give a little back, and in the process we may have the opportunity to make a difference.

Like the Lions, the Bear Mountain Leos are always happy to welcome the public to help with a project, or invite anyone wanting join to come down and see what we are all about. There is no obligation; we are truly just community groups that like involving the community. For more information on Lions, or the Leos, give Amy a call at 301-9179 or visit www.sleepingladylions.org.

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