Daily Bread And A Bit O’ Butter

I remember the days when I would fall asleep in the backseat of the car at the end of a fun-packed day at the amusement park. Dad’s hands on the 10 and 2 of the steering wheel. Such fun times and beautiful memories of being driven around without a care in the world. I felt protected, safe and sound.

I could count on my parents and knew securely where my next meal of scrambled eggs and toasted bread with butter was coming from. I had a roof overhead, a playground to run in, a school to learn, a bike to fly down the hill and the warm comfort of sweet love. I didn’t need anything.

Because of Celiac, I no longer eat toasted bread and butter with my eggs. I can’t eat traditional bread. I don’t make my own gluten free bread anymore either.

Bread has been a symbol of the ultimate sustenance for centuries. It’s on tables all over the world; wrapped in a warm towel and waiting to nourish, in moderation, to many a family.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are accompanied by bread. It’s a staple. Bread idioms and proverbs further emphasize the spiritual meaning of bread in our lives and its status as both a provider of life and how well that life is lived.

“Give us O Lord our daily bread which we are about to receive from thy bounty…”

It saddens me that many people in this country struggle to buy bread. And even more so, fresh fruits and vegetables that keep us healthy. With Christmas coming, we need to look around and see who needs us.

Think of a loaf of French baguette. Place it in a crisp white bag, add a red bow and give. Who wouldn’t want that for Christmas! It’s a small gesture, but going small has as much meaning as going big. You can add a gift card to the package for a little something extra, or keep it simple. Whatever you can do.

A tank of gas, a pair of boots, a coat, or a grocery gift card. Give back to those who work hard and are having a tough time in any capacity you can.

Be the Christmas Angel to someone who needs help, or simply some inspiration. Reaching out will make their soul happy, and yours too.

The recent #GivingTuesday push after Thanksgiving has made me think a lot about giving at the ground level so it gets in the right hands—and sooner. I’m talking about the single mom, the lonely, the elderly. And the hunger and poverty facts and statistics in America are startling.

Did you know that in 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children?

And 4.2 million (8.8 percent) of adults 65 and older were in poverty?

I received a slew of #GivingTuesday emails and donation requests that came across as heavily commercial and too hard of a push. What began as a noble effort to support local community and celebrate generosity, feels more like corporations trying to make a year-end quota or self-promote under the guise of giving back. It’s disheartening.

One of the most gratifying things about giving is being a part of the experience and knowing that your generosity actually has an impact.

Let’s reconsider what giving means. This is a time of year to take care of each other and focus on those right in front of us who need help. The commercial part of Christmas is hardest on the young struggling families.

Pay for the groceries of the mother behind you with the autistic child. Open and hold the door for the elderly man recovering from a stroke. A simple act of kindness can make a much bigger impact than a credit card swipe to the mighty non-profit begging for bread.

The truth is that not all companies put their money where their mouth is. Solicitations can be misleading attempts to make you think you’re helping a large group of people, when most of your donation goes to corporation expenses—such as administrative costs and advertising. It becomes an inertial coupling effect of sorts; like a pilot maneuvering at such high speeds it undermines efforts and is not stable.

Give wisely to charity. Research an organization before you donate to see where your dollars will make a difference.

This article from Consumer Reports lists the best and worst charities for your donations, and these charity rating services evaluate organizations so you can find one that uses your money most effectively:

  1. BBB Wise Giving Alliance
  2. Charity Navigator
  3. CharityWatch

Let’s start a #Philanthropic365 and give all year with our whole hearts. Giving brings us closer to each other and lets us work toward building a better world. One that’s safer, healthier, more stable, and happier for all of us.

Enriching the lives of others is the bread and butter of life! It makes us all wealthier and lasts long past the holiday season. ❤💚