Give to Change a Life: Think Local

At 212 Media Studios, we believe that giving is more than just something you should do out of habit every December. Giving is really important—and can literally change both the recipient and the giver. That’s why this holiday season, 212 Media Studios is spending 12 days focusing exclusively on what it means to give.

Sometimes changing lives can involve packing 1,000,000 meals for hungry kids across the world, and other times it can hit much closer to home. Many of us have the desire to make a difference, but sometimes we miss the needs that are close enough for us to touch.

Many people don’t realize that 22 percent of American children live in poverty , and we have one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. Yes, there are needs around the world. But there are needs here too. All communities have people who really just need a reason to smile. A coat, a toy, and a warm meal can be a truly uplifting gift. Instead of giving towards something thousands of miles away, why don’t we look for the needs in our community?

Don’t hear me saying that this isn’t already being done to some degree—that’s not true at all. And I’m just as guilty as anyone. I think about changing the world through helping bring water to Africa (a noble cause), or feeding kids around the world (a worthy cause). Something about giving local doesn’t seem as glamorous as being involved on a global scale. Or, maybe we don’t want to believe that poverty is in our midst. We like to think it is “over there.”

But over 15 million children live in poverty RIGHT HERE. And we have the power to make a difference.

People in your town don’t need to starve when you have an abundance of food. Start a canned good drive at your business to donate to your local food bank. Or collect gently used coats to take to the homeless shelter. Or partner with your local Salvation Army to find needy families in your town. But do something to build up your own community.

Even in a smaller community like our own, last year 500 families were given gifts and a Christmas dinner because of the vision to think local. This year 212 Media Studios has adopted two families, and we are loving every minute of thinking about our opportunity to deliver a great Christmas to a local family!

This Christmas we want to pose a simple challenge: Give to change a life in your own backyard.

To see previous posts in our 12-day GIVE series, click here. And be sure to come back tomorrow to read post number nine!