This year has proven difficult for many people, with high inflation, political unrest, job instabilities and other uncertainties. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was declared officially over, many still struggle with the coronavirus or other health problems. As the holidays draw near, it’s always a good time to reflect on our blessings and consider ways we can help others in our community.
Demonstrating Gratitude with Strategic Generosity
A wise pastor-mentor of this writer was fond of saying, “We are never more like God than when we give.” One primary way we can demonstrate our gratitude for all we have is by giving to others. Many opportunities exist for helping the needy around us in our community and world. You may already have favorite charitable organizations to which you contribute regularly.
This writer would like to suggest a more directed, strategic approach to gifting for this holiday season. While broad giving to reputable charitable organizations no doubt helps many, a more personalized approach can help people you know a bit closer to home, and in more than one way. Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing how your gift can provide real help.
Discover What People Need
This form of giving requires a bit more research and forethought than usual gifting, but it adds the benefit of meeting a real need, as opposed to simply giving something that may or may not be useful. Engage with the people around you to discover what they need. Ask family members, church members, club members, associates at work and others in your circle what they could really use. Ask questions like:
- What would you like to do to your home in the next few months?
- What does your home need right now?
- What does your primary vehicle need right now?
- What would help your children the most in the next few months?
- If you had excess financial resources right now, what would you use it on?
Many people around us are struggling to keep their primary vehicle running properly so they can continue to work, need maintenance or repairs done to their home, would love to take better care of their children or pets and more.
Provide Specific Assistance
After discovering real needs that would provide valuable, tangible assistance, determine which one or more you can realistically meet. Everyone has a budget – how you use it is what is in view. Selecting one or more of the needs you discovered to meet in a specific way is a much better use of your available gift budget than buying dozens of small trinkets that will end up in a drawer or closet.
After selecting specific needs to meet for family, friends or acquaintances, choose how to meet these needs. Wise givers are reluctant to give large amounts of cash for a number of reasons; so why not gift a pre-paid service or item instead?
- Car maintenance service gift certificates
- Home maintenance service gift certificates
- Education gift certificates
- Specific store gift certificates
- Specific service gift certificates
Of course, this involves shopping around for service providers or stores that provide the items needed. And this is where another great way of showing gratitude comes into play.
Small Business Saturday
Local small businesses are the backbone of any community. Energetic entrepreneurs that launch their own businesses in a local setting contribute to the welfare and suitability of their city or area. Patronizing these local businesses is an excellent way to show your gratitude for their community investment and the value they provide to area residents and visitors. Remember, every dollar you spend locally is returned in numerous ways to improve your local area.
Small Business Saturday® was created in 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to Shop Small® and bring more holiday shopping to local small businesses. The United States Senate passed a unanimous support resolution for this movement in 2011 and all 50 states are represented in celebrations and emphases nationwide. Every president since 2011 has also spoken in favor of the national emphasis on supporting local businesses.
In 2022, Small Business Saturday falls on November 26. Why not plan your strategic, gratitude-driven holiday gift buying ahead of time and purchase products and service gift certificates from local small businesses throughout Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, Greeneville, Erwin, Elizabethton, Jonesborough, Piney Flats and other surrounding communities?
Use the 1-FIND Directory to Help Your Holiday Shopping
The 1-FIND Online Directory is “Your Place to Find Everything in the Tri-Cities” – your “one-stop-shop” for locating products and services throughout our Northeast Tennessee communities. We have listings for virtually everything, including medical and dental services, auto repair, home repair specialists, pet services, hobby supply, professional services and more. Search the 1-FIND Tri-Cities Business Directory or get started below at some popular search links to begin planning your strategic, gratitude-driven gifting this holiday season.
Do you have a local business to include in the 1-FIND Tri-Cities Business Directory? Add it here!