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Updated: Dec 10, 2019

By Lesley Olsommer, Director of Education & Workforce Development

I love this time of the year…the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. While we often feel rushed by the expectations of the holiday season, it is important that we watch closely and listen carefully to those around us. There is much to find.

Scroll through the images above to see the WACS program staff and participants enjoying their Denver Downs Day. Denver Downs provided free admission for the group as well as a tent site for them to use while they were there.

First, November…

Each November we are surrounded by the words GIVE THANKS. They can be seen on décor, tableware, and even the food itself. And we hear those words, too. Teachers devote lessons to this phrase. Events and charitable offerings are formed with the same message. Even the conversations around us include the question, “what are some things for which you are thankful?” Each of these visual and verbal reminders makes us think. We begin to see and feel the ways in which we are thankful. So why is this self-reflection so important, you ask? When we do this we are able to see what we have to offer others in the form of a BLESSING.

Now, December…

It is now December. We have been reminded for what we are thankful. We know what we have to give others. We want to give. The challenge becomes who, where, and how. Yet, in this season of giving, our world becomes busy with shopping, school events, parties, cooking, and more. The commitments on our calendar quickly fill-in; they steal our attention. This is where we have to watch closely and listen carefully. Attend each event looking for ways to bless someone. Opportunities to bless others come in many ways, but they are not always obvious. Listen intently to conversations and ask follow-up questions. (For the record, you’ll be developing good communication habits.) Teach others to do this, too. And when we find a way to bless someone, we also get to experience the blessing. The receiver is blessed by the love of someone who noticed their need in addition to the benefit of the good/service itself. The giver is blessed with emotional fulfillment. It is a WIN-WIN!

Let’s challenge each other. Find ways to bless others and do it. I can see it already happening here at AIM this week… and it’s only Tuesday! So far this week I have seen:

· Families, churches, and groups donating to provide Christmas gifts for Anderson children

· Monetary donations for AIM programs

· Vehicle donated to a mom who needs transportation

· New books donated to the Women and Children Succeeding Book Club

What will you do this holiday season?


“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

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