Seasons of giving

People wait to take strings of twinkling lights down from their front porches, and leftovers from a family potluck sit in the fridge. Frost still coats the window panes, and many children still suck on candy canes. Though it’s January and the holidays have ended, reminders of the giving season linger.

Though people may seem reluctant to say goodbye to the holidays by not taking down decorations or continuing to listen to their holiday playlist, they don’t seem too attached to the charitable side of the season. In fact, according to Jeff Gordy of NeonCRM, a relationship management tool, almost a third of all annual donations to charity happen in December, especially during the last few days of the year.

Giving should not be considered a limited-time-only, once-a-year deal. It’s not a seasonal flavor like peppermint or gingerbread. When we call the last couple of months of the year “the season of giving,” we start to believe it’s the only season when we should give. In order to convince some people to donate at KHS, different organizations provide an incentive, usually a class party, to the winner.

During late November and early December, Kirkwood Youth Service held a canned food drive. Robert Becker, Honors Chemistry teacher, rewarded students with 20 bonus points if they donated twenty cans or ten dollars to their first hour classes. How many students only donated because of the extra points, rather than simply because it was a nice thing to do?

Effort also plays a part in giving. If someone has lots of canned food at home, they might be more likely to donate than if they had to go to the store and buy some to donate. If someone is a part of a volunteering group, then they might know of more opportunities to donate their time to than someone who would have to seek out places in need of their service.

But no matter how much effort it takes or what month it is, people should give. It makes no difference whether snow blankets the ground or if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. The holiday season feels special because people act kinder, but kindness is not something to be stashed away, just to bring out at the end of the year like boxes of ornaments collecting dust in the basement.

What may seem like a small deed to you could mean the world to the person on the receiving end.

What may seem like a small deed to you could mean the world to the person on the receiving end. Charities receive so much in winter and so little in other seasons, yet the people who charities benefit need help year round. Instead of donating during the traditional “season of giving,” donate when you’re not expected to or when you don’t feel particularly charitable. Donate but because you know that somewhere, someone appreciates it, and maybe, just maybe, that kindness will come back around when you need it most.