December can be quite the fun and festive month, with its flurry of holiday parties, decorated and glittering trees, gift-giving and gathering together with friends and family. It’s also a season of giving and generosity—making our “Giving Back” theme for this month quite fitting.
I was inspired by some of the people we feature in the pages of this issue—like Tim Murphy, who has spent much of his adult life in the Rotary Club of Edina, where he’s advocated and fundraised for polio eradication worldwide (page 18). We also met two teenagers who have made a difference in the lives of youth in the Edina community (page 16). And then there’s the mother-daughter duo who volunteer with Ziggy’s Art Bus, a traveling art-mobile that serves children with life-limiting illnesses (page 24).
What really struck me about all of these people is how generously each of them gives of their time for something beyond themselves. In our busy lives, it’s so easy to get protective of our time and want to use all of our “extra” time for personal gain and relaxation. But what if we gave more of it away?
I know this is an incredibly busy time of year, but when giving back this December, I encourage you to do more than just write a check. (Though, for the sake of nonprofits that depend on financial donations, don’t skip them!) In addition to your year-end giving, give the gift of your time. In our Noteworthy section, columnist Tim Borowski touts the proven mental and emotional benefits of volunteering and service, both to the giver and the receiver (page 11). So, yes, donate the food items to a food shelf—but also sign up to serve hot food or help with shopping. Make the cookies for your elderly neighbor—but don’t just drop them off and leave. Bring some coffee, too, and make time to sit down and have a conversation. I think you’ll be really glad you did.