Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ten Blessings for Someone Else – ‘Tis the season!

My family and I are blessed.  We have a wonderful home and love.  We have friends and family who care.  God has provided a wonderful life for us.  Each year at Christmas time, we exchange gifts with one another to represent that gift that was given to us long ago in Bethlehem.  This Christmas, my husband and I looked for ways to give outside of our family.  These are some of the donations that we considered.

All of the following ways to better our world can be done by DAR members and non-DAR members alike.  Just remember, if you want to give financially, and you are in the DAR, you may want to consider giving through your state treasurer instead of directly to the causes to get chapter credit.  But let’s face it…it is the giving for the sake of others that is really the focus here.  Make your gift “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” someone special.

1.  Donate items to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center – When our active military duty are severely injured they are sent by medevac to this facility in Landstuhl, Germany.  They are always in need of healthy snack bars, chocolate, candy, iTunes® gift cards, lip balm, and deodorant.  Create a box of these items and ship them with a few thank you cards. 
You may send your donations with required custom forms to:
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
Attn:  MCEUL-CH/Chaplain’s Office
CMR 402
APO, AE 09180

2.  Donate to a local Women’s Shelter – Many of the women and children in local shelters have only the clothes on their backs.  Often times, they leave their homes in such a hurry to avoid more danger that they are in great need.  Contact your local women’s shelter and find out how you can donate clothes and toiletries.  I will make it easy for you to find the closest one to you.  Go to and choose your state.  Scroll down for a list of cities.  Click on your city and then scroll down for a list of the shelters and contact information.

3.  Adopt a Classroom at the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School – Have you heard what great things happen at the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School?   According to their web site, “The school serves grades K-12 and provides opportunities for the children of a large, rural area in the Appalachian foothills to develop a strong love of American ideals as they obtain a distinctive academic background.”  One year my chapter adopted a teacher at KDS and supported her math classes with donations of calculators and other general supplies.  All of the students were very grateful.  Consider adopting a class or making a donation to the school this year. 
4.  Donate to the Tamassee DAR School – This place changes lives!   According to their web site, “Tamassee DAR School is a private 501-c(3) non-profit children’s home and family services organization offering multi-faceted programs to serve children and families with a variety of needs.”  “The annual cost for a child to live in the safe and secure environment of Tamassee DAR School is $25,000 and no child is turned away due to an inability to pay.”  Consider making a donation to help a child have a safer environment and a better chance in life.   You can donate online.
5.  Make a Donation to Your Local Veteran’s Hospital – We live in a free country because of the many men and women who have sacrificed much for our freedom.  I may not know them, but I am thankful for them.  Why not donate to your local Veteran’s Hospital.  I will make it easy for you.  Go to and click on the map to find your area’s closest facility.  Then, once you find it, click on “Volunteer or Donate” on the right hand side.  You may find a list of volunteer activities or a list of ‘needs’ they have.  Either way, thank a Veteran this holiday season.

6.  Purchase and Donate an American Flag – Contact your local library to see if they have an American flag.  Perhaps your local schools need an American Flag for their auditorium or classrooms.  Remember to buy an American made American Flag.  Here is a site that sells classroom flags for $16.30 each. 
7.  Donate to the Indian Youth of America Summer Camp Program – During the summer the Indian Youth of America Summer Camp Program meets in several places in the US.   According to their web site, Over the past 34 years, IYA’s summer camps have provided thousands of Indian children between the ages of 10-14 with an alternative to spending the summer at home….often with no entertainment, recreation or job opportunities.  The summer camps have provided a variety of positive activities at a time when youth lack supervision and are most vulnerable to peer pressure, criminal activity, gang involvement and substance abuse.”  Consider sponsoring a child today by paying part or the entire $300 camp fee.  You can donate online.
8.  Donate a Book to Your Local Library – When I first joined the DAR, I was not a huge history lover unlike so many other Daughters.  I invited a colleague of mine who teaches US History down the hall from me to speak at our local meeting that year.  His portrayal of the men and women of colonial America was so real and tied to so much emotion that I instantly became a fan and wanted to learn more.  He recommended that I read “Liberty the American Revolution” by Thomas Fleming.  I went straight to the library and read it cover to cover within a week.  If it enlightened me by revealing the bravery that early Americans displayed for independence and democracy, then it will surely inspire many, many more.  Purchase a copy of the book and donate it to your local library.  Check to see if they already have a copy of it before you donate.

9.  Give Someone a Gift Subscription to American Spirit – Any history lover would love this magazine.  Six issues a year will showcase our American History in unique and relevant ways.  Check it out at .  You can also donate a copy to your local library.  You can purchase it online.
10.  Adopt-an-Object or Sponsor Camp at the DAR Museum – The DAR Museum is one of the most prominent American decorative arts museums in the country.  Located a few blocks from the White House in Washington, DC, it is open to the public.   It offers educational programs to schools, families, Scouts, and children during summer camps.  Consider donating to the “Museum Camper Buddy Program” to help run their programs.  Perhaps you would rather adopt an object at the museum.  Just contact the Museum Office at 202-879-3241, or email for more information.  
I like the quote by Albert Einstein, “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”  I hope you and your family find a way add value to your life and to make the world brighter for someone else this Christmas.