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Column: Cheerful giving

Posted: October 10, 2018 3:58 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Arriving with autumn are falling leaves, playful spirits and a sense of cheerful giving. Each brings familiar feelings that surface each year during this beautiful season. Even though shedding leaves at this time of year fill us with the dread of raking them, we also pause to enjoy the beauty of their brilliant colors! The much anticipated cooler temperatures sometimes cause us to become playful as we take brisk walks, slow jogs, or evening strolls through downtown Camden. We decorate and dress for Halloween or simply wrap in a favorite, soft sweater and venture outdoors! And, then, we suddenly pause and experience an awesome feeling of thankfulness and a desire to find opportunities to share -- the amazing feeling of the need to give!

The art of cheerful giving comes in many forms. Some of us give of our time and talents while others prefer to pen a check. There is great gratification in either form of giving. Our community hosts many opportunities for you to share your time, talents, and monetary gifts. Please consider some of the following:

• Read to young students at one of our great Kershaw County Schools.

• Volunteer at KershawHealth, United Way, a local library, Camden Archives, Food for the Soul or any one of our wonderful non-profits.

• Take a batch of cookies to your favorite first responders.

• Participate in a fundraiser, such as the Chili Cook-off.

• Support our dynamic Fine Arts Center through gifts and participation.

• Adapt a stretch of road and make it your mission to keep it clean.

• Assist with a field trip and/or help a teacher with a special project. (No, you do not have to have children in that school or classroom to make a difference!)

• Call Historic Camden and inquire about the “friends” who help them.

• Open your home for the Camden Junior Welfare Candlelight Tour.

• Decorate your front porch for the holidays for all to enjoy.

• Buy a meal for a hungry individual or collect coats for the many who will need them when the weather turns cold.

• Clean out your closets/storage and make a donation to Second Look or the Habitat ReStore.

• Serve on a commission or committee. Sign up at Camden City Hall, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce or the Boys/Girls Club.

• Teach a Sunday School class at your church.

• Donate gently used linens to the animal shelter or to an animal rescue.

• If you have the resources, pen a check to your favorite charity.

• Attend a Camden City Council meeting and share your thoughts with your council members.

In reality, it is so easy to say, “It is better to give than to receive,” but it is difficult to live it out. We post it on Facebook and stick it on our bumpers, but do we live it? When was the last time you heard someone cite those familiar words? Truthfully, autumn and the beginning of winter are the times of year when we hear this phrase most often. It is said so casually that we often do not stop to understand the true meaning. Do we really mean it when we utter those words?

The art of cheerful giving doesn’t dictate that you give anonymously, openly or collectively with a group. It does require a realization that so many of us enjoy life with so much to give, while others endure life with so little. It demands a sincere spirit of paying it forward. As a result, you will experience an unmatched feeling of joy when you genuinely and gleefully give of your time, your talents, your gifts and your service. Cheerful giving is truly an art for all of us to embrace and practice!


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