Giving, reflecting and thanking

I’m writing this on New Year’s Day, that traditional time when we make resolutions so we can break them.  Won’t bore you with my failures in that department, but I will share what I’m thinking.

Yesterday my husband and I wrote our annual checks to charity. We abandoned gift giving years ago and decided to donate the money to charity instead.  We have enough stuff; we can purchase what we need and we get far more out of the contributions than we would from the gift choices we would make for each other.  From his point of view, if I didn’t get him an airplane I failed.  From my point of view, phew – failed again, ya!

We gave to the usual list including a small local organization that helps the truly forgotten work towards a better life.  They provide tutoring for very at-risk children, working transportation so an unskilled worker can get to a job, any job.  They help parolees, addicts and the mentally ill navigate an unforgiving society.  We gave to a group that helps with pet food for low income and elderly people so they can keep their dearly beloved furry companions.  We helped some left over Easter rabbits find forever homes or a safe place to finish their lives*.  We always help the adoption agency where many of our furry children came from. They are small, volunteer based, strictly no-kill and never beg for money.  We like that.  We also included two larger, more established charities that feed the hungry and run the great Best Friends Animal Shelter.  And last, we added a small gift of a teddy bear for a child at Mott’s Children’s hospital because when I was so sick my husband got me a teddy bear and she is one of my most valuable possessions.

I mention these organizations as they are places not everyone looks when thinking about charity.  No big campaigns, no TV ads, no well paid staffs, no colored ribbons, no arguments with each other.  Just groups trying to do the very best with what they have.  I also mention them because they never ever fail to say thank you for the gift.  Volunteers provide hand written notes and emails let us know how much our gift was appreciated.  Big or small, well off or barely making it, they just try to do the mission they have selected, yet they always take the time to say thank you.

I’m not always the best at remembering to say thank you.  Shame on me.  I have so much to be thankful for and so many people that I owe so much to.  If you’re reading this you’re probably a Finao client and I’m so thankful for that.  Without our clients, well, we wouldn’t be.  The contributions would not have happened and I would not be writing this.  I guess that’s a way of saying that we are nothing with out you.  Kind of a mushy, love affair sorta thing.  But it’s true.  Finao needs to remember every day why we exist.  We need to remember that making our clients look good is the task we have been assigned.  We need to remember to say thanks for trusting us, thank you for believing in us,  thank you for giving us your business.  We know, only too well, how many choices you have and that makes saying thank you even more important.

If 2012 was a great year, here’s wishing continued joy in 2013. If it wasn’t what maybe you expected, here’s to improvements. If it sucked, I’m sorry, here’s to new beginnings. It’s 2013 and we all have a clean slate.  2013 is full of hope.  We hope for a better economy and for personal and business success.  We hope for happiness and health for ourselves and our families.  We hope for days filled with joy, nights warm with security, weeks that never pass too fast or too slowly, months that see our challenges overcome and our goals getting closer and closer.  We always start a new year on a high because all of our expectations are before us.

Peace out,
Christine

*Please think of these bunnies before you have live animals as props.