Character Chats

Show gratitude by giving back

Time to give back.

This month’s True Character word of the month is gratitude.

Gratitude means, “I’m so thankful.” It also means appreciating, recognizing, and being thankful for what we have.

Having and expressing gratitude

We’ve gone through the month talking a lot about holding an attitude of gratitude.

Our attitude of gratitude should be something we don’t have to think about. Every time somebody does something nice — when people do things that we’re thankful for — we just automatically say it.

Just like whenever we leave the house, we automatically put our shoes on. Whenever somebody does something nice, we automatically say “thank you.”

We also want to show our thanks by doing other things — sending cards, sending messages, a phone call — we want to be constantly showing and sending some of that gratitude.

We want to remember all those people that we are thankful for, showing gratitude to our teachers, our parents, family members, and to the health care workers. It’s all the people around us that help us make our life what it is — for all those people that we’re thankful for.

Helping others

Now, finally, for this end of the month — end of the year — we’re going to talk about showing gratitude by helping others.

A great way we can really show our gratitude is by helping out charity. Have you ever helped out charity? Have you ever donated something to somebody else?

Do you know how that makes somebody feel to know that someone they’ve never even met took time out of their day to help them out?

So, what are some of the things we can do to help out and donate to charities?

Well, we just had some holidays. And I know a lot of us got quite a few gifts. Which means, kids, there’s probably some toys that are gathering dust in the corner that you may need to get out of the way anyways.

So, why don’t we take some of this time off around the holidays to look through our room, look through our closets, look for some perfectly good toys that you’re not using anymore — toys that are taking up space because it’s time to make some room for new ones.

And let’s see if we can donate them to somebody. We can donate them to some of the local charities that can help people out.

We can also donate food to food pantries. We can look through our pantry at home for food to donate. We can go to the grocery store, pick up some food that we can donate.

Or you can take some of the money that you got for the holidays and donate it to a favorite charity that helps people out.

Other charities to consider

How about animal shelters? We really like to support the local animal shelter ourselves. Our two puppies, Robbie and Sam, are both from an animal shelter.

I’ll never forget one year our daughter, Ms. Becca, decided for her birthday party that instead of getting gifts she wanted to get donations for the animal shelter. And it was a fun birthday party.

That was years ago. I think maybe we were at Pump It Up or something like that. And all of her friends were coming in with bags of dog food, pet dishes and big bags of treats.

The people at the birthday party place were looking at us like we’re a little bit crazy. And she got this big pile of things to donate to the dogs. We went to the animal shelter and she came in with his big bag full and a big smile on her face.

She felt so good. She felt so proud of herself that she could do something to help out the poor puppies in need.

So, let’s think about those places where we really can make a big difference. Think about some of those that maybe aren’t getting thought about this time of year.

Especially for us, we really think about those animal shelters quite a bit, making sure that those puppies and kittens are all taken care of.

So, remember, keep gratitude in your heart. Keep it on your lips, so you’re constantly saying thank you. And during this time off right now, look for ways that you can give back in order to show how much you’re thankful for everything that we have here.

 Thanks. Have a great new year and we will see you out on the mat.
-Master Helsdon