Thanksgiving...Thoughts to carry throughout the year

This time of year always makes me think of how thankful I am for so many blessings. It is also a time of year that I become more acutely aware of the strife that others are facing.

We are all getting phone calls from various charitable organizations asking for help in the form of money or time or both. The challenge for me is which organizations should I help during this coming year. The easy ones are those that hit closest to home; an illness that has struck a loved one, an organization in my backyard that helps my neighbors, and the local schools that are trying to do good in so many ways. But who else should I help? There are so many in need.

As heart-wrenching as it may be, I have only so much time and money that I can give. Some will not get my help, but I have to force myself to focus on those that I can help. I am sharing this list with you not to promote my good deeds, but to expose you to some very worthwhile organizations that you might want to help, too! 

PADS Lake County (http://www.padslakecounty.org)
They provide homeless families with a safe place to live and the guidance to help them get out of the cycle of homelessness by providing counseling and other important services for the entire family.

Feed My Starving Children (http://www.fmsc.org/
They are committed to feeding severely hungry children around. Their approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and they ship these meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.

University of Miami Scholarships
The money is used specifically to help students in need and allows them to get a terrific college education.

Stevenson Foundation (http://stevensonfoundation.org)
They support student scholarships for outstanding graduating seniors, the Kids in Need Fund, innovation grants, and many other worthwhile endeavors at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL.

Goodwill (http://www.goodwill.org)
They strive to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by helping people reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work.

AMVETS (http://www.ilamvets.org)
Supporting our veterans when they return home with a variety of services to improve their lives.

Alzheimer's Association (http://www.alz.org)
They are advancing research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.

Children's Miracle Network (http://cmnwi.org)
Their mission is to generate funds and awareness programs for the benefit of children served by its associated hospitals, now numbering more than 170 nationwide.

American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org)
Helping to find cures and helping people who live with cancer every day.

I hope that you will find the time and money to help others. And let people know who you are helping; not to promote the good that you are doing, but to introduce people that may know you about some great organizations that they might be compelled to help, too.