‘Tis the season for giving!

  • By:  Al Smith, Fresno Chamber of Commerce CEO/President

Last month this publication talked about the season of gift giving and how important it is for our community when making purchases for Christmas to – as what have become the by-words around the Chamber – “Buy Local”.

This month, we want to continue a discussion of giving, but address it in a different – and few would argue – more important approach in celebrating the holiday season.

I recently finished reading former Congressman George Radanoavich’s new book, “The New World Order is the Old World Order”.  It’s not a thick book, really a pretty quick read, but it is loaded with items that offer us a refresher course on the basics that allowed this country to become so exceptional in the world’s history of successful nations.  Elements we embraced with passion years ago, but may have faded as our society evolved.

One component of particular note was that of the government taking over management and funding of charity, which traditionally had been the province of private sources and churches.  That expansion was intended initially to be a temporary assist as America was climbing out of the Recession – but under FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society these efforts became permanent.

Now, as governments at every level are adjusting to the reduced supply of tax dollars, many of these programs are being eliminated.   In order to fill this void, the private sector and churches, civic and social clubs, individual neighbors helping neighbors, are stepping back in.

And, you know what? This just might be a blessing in disguise. Imagine how much better we would be if government never got back into the game and those needs were again served by volunteers in our community.

Imagine this scenario. The giver gives to the receiver – who when their situation improves; and remembering the kindness – becomes the next giver to the next receiver – and the cycle continues on and on.  What a positive culture change!

So as you plan your gift giving efforts, remember to be a part of taking care of your fellow man. Let’s push government back into doing the things they were originally charged with doing and take back our own position of helping humanity.

There are many opportunities to give back, this and every Holiday Season; the kettle drive for the Salvation Army; the Fresno Bee’s Wrap up a Wish; Coats for Kids sponsored by KISS Country Radio and KSEE-TV; the U. S. Marine’s Toys for Tots.  Or, simply cleaning out the canned goods in your pantry, which were bought with good intentions but never opened, and taking them to the food bank. Consider serving holiday meals at Poverello House or just finding a family in need at your local church, civic or social organization and helping them have happier holidays.

A great America fills voids when they develop.  Government is being forced to open that void and again we have the opportunity for our local community to fill it – as was done in the past. After all, it was the “old world order” – and it was that order that made us exceptional.

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2 thoughts on “‘Tis the season for giving!

  1. Many great points, however, most charities are stretched beyond their limits at this time of year. It would be good to write this again in March or August when people seem to have forgotten about the downtrodden. Let’s keep those larders and closets full so as to help all year long, not just at Christmas time.

    The next piece is to find jobs for so many of those who are in need; and even better, good paying jobs that will support a family so they do not have to live in poverty.

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