Hey, soulless meanie! (You know who you are.) Why won’t you help out someone in need this holiday season? I found out the hard way that my friends and dates have no problem refusing or ignoring me when I asked them to help me donate presents to families in need.
As a usually single childless adult, I find that the warmth of the season often eludes me. When I was forced to help my Jewish mother decorate 11 varieties of Christmas cookies to be plattered and gifted to the garbage person, I felt no tingles whatsoever.
Then one year I was visiting my sister for Thanksgiving and saw how her law firm was collecting toys for children. As a kid, I remember plucking a name off the giving tree in the Pony Village Mall and returning with a wrapped gift for “Lucy, Age 4.” I was inspired to seek a similar charitable opportunity in the Bay Area. That’s how I found the Concord-based nonprofit Uplift Family Services, an amazing agency that sponsors a “Foster Santa” program for families in need. Uplift sent me information about a family, along with a wish list. At the time, I was dating Paul, a CEO; he and I had a great time shopping and wrapping the gifts while listening to John Denver and the Muppets. I remember how excited he was by wristlet Scotch-tape dispensing.