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Journal Writing Project - More than receiving


By Ashley Bue

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012

By Ashley Bue

Children always think of Christmas as a time for Santa Claus and presents. Every year on that special morning millions of children around the United States run down the stairs to find the presents Santa left the night before. But, usually, one thought never runs through these young children’s minds: what about the children or adults who do not have this luxury? Are they able to have Christmas? Thanks to millions of donations and helpful volunteers, these people are able to have Christmas. Christmas in Fillmore County, the Red Kettle, and the Salvation Army’s Sharing Tree in Rochester are all worthy places to give back to your community.

Each year the Fillmore County Ambassadors, a local youth organization associated with 4-H, plans a day to shop in Rochester for Christmas in Fillmore County. Christmas in Fillmore County is an organization that provides gifts to children and teens who may not get them otherwise. This organization relies on donations from community members and groups like the Fillmore County Ambassadors. This year the Ambassadors shopped for about fifty children and teens. This fulfilling deed helps the Ambassadors understand the needs of others.

The Red Kettle was started in 1891 by Joseph McFee, a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco, California, who wanted to help the overwhelming number of poor people in the city. McFee came up with the idea of the Red Kettle. This one, small idea exploded, and 120 years later there are Red Kettles all over the world. Donations in the kettle go to fund Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need. None of this would be possible, though, without the volunteers who stand in the cold, winter weather to ring the bells. After hours of work, each volunteer may be physically frigid but feel a warmth of happiness from the joy of giving. So next time you see one of those frigid volunteers all bundled up to ring the bells, drop a few cents into the Red Kettle and remember that the money goes to a good cause.

Finally, another worthwhile cause is the Salvation Army’s Sharing Tree in Rochester. Each year my family donates to this tree. When I was younger, my family would buy something I wanted for Christmas and I would donate the gift to the sharing tree. All the unwrapped gifts under this tree are given to children and teens in need around the local area. Over the years this experience has provided me with an understanding of the need to give back to the community that gives so much to me.

All of these organizations provide the participants with a self-fulfilling feeling. Community members can give back to people in need. Thanks to all who have donated, and remember the donations go to good causes.

Ashley Bue is a student at Lanesboro High School. She is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its fourteenth year.

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