With Thanksgiving behind me, I’m turning my thoughts toward Christmas. Nothing to me says the holidays quite like the Salvation Army red kettles outside the stores. I don’t know about you but I can’t pass one without dropping something in. But in these rough economic times I’m sure many organizations’ coffers will see a decline. By the way, I saw in the newspaper that the Salvation Army is installing debit and credit card machines at some of their kettles for those people who want to give but carry little cash with them. That may sound strange but I suppose they’re fighting tooth and nail to be able to keep their doors open to the homeless and less fortunate. Desperate times call for desperate measures I guess.
We’re all familiar with the generous hearts of Oprah, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett. But there are thousands of ordinary people who do their part to touch lives.
I saw on T.V. the other day where a man in California is going around passing out money to homeless people. That’s a true American.
In the Old West there were notable people like Molly Brown who took up various causes and not only donated her own money but got others to do so as well to help the poor.
The giving wasn’t confined to society’s wealthy though. One story in particular that I read lately told of Molly Burdan (or Molly b’Dam as she came to be known,) a prostitute and madam who lived in Murray, Idaho in the 1870’s. Molly worked tirelessly for those who were destitute. The beautiful woman had a heart of gold and a penchant for giving. And when the town had an outbreak of smallpox, she rolled up her sleeves and treated the sick and dying. She even recruited her girls as nurses. When Molly died, thousands of people came from the surrounding area to bid her farewell. The entire town of Murray shut down for her funeral. They still celebrate Molly’s life every August and she remains their most illustrious personality.
Then there was a scarlet lady by the name of Silver Heels in Buckskin Joe, Colorado who carried food and candy to the orphanages. She also nursed the sick and was willing to grubstake miners. And when the Chicago fire happened in 1871, she held a benefit and raised almost two thousand dollars to provide food, money, and clothing for the victims.
Who says charity is limited to those whose lives are aboveboard?
I have favorite charities I give to every year without fail–Hospice, the Salvation Army, and the Children’s Home of Lubbock.
Will you give this year? Do you have your favorites or just give wherever your heart leads?
And don’t forget our Cowboy Under the Christmas Tree that ends December 6th.