Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Time Giving

This time of year tends to bring out the best (and sometimes, worst) in people. For me, I love, love, love to give presents; and as Sam recently pointed out, I think I find far more joy in giving than in any gift I could ever receive. There's something about seeing someone open a gift, or even knowing that you were able to help someone, even in a small way, who truly needed it that brings a big smile to my face. So, I tend to look for ways to give this time of year, and to those who truly need it. Even with our current one-income state while I'm in school, we are so fortunate to be able to have a roof over our heads, food on the table, healthy pets, crazy (but loved) families, and of course, bicycles. While we don't have a ton of disposable income, I also know there are other ways to give, or to give in smaller ways.
*Photo Lion de Belfort, Creative Commons Attribution 2.5
I was reminded this morning that a local bicycle shop, High Gear Cyclery, used to take donated bikes, repair them, and give them to those who might not be able to ride without the generosity of both the individual donating, and the work of the shop that was willing to do any repairs. Unfortunately, High Gear closed down about a year and a half ago, and it's left kind of a void in this area. I don't believe that any other Longmont-based shop does this type of donation during the holiday season. Though I am aware that the YMCA is attempting to fill the shoes of High Gear, I hope they are able to provide repairs as a bike shop would have been able to do. I also have heard that Bicycle Longmont is looking for donations to be able to give out helmets as well.
A group gathers outside High Gear (before it closed in June '09)
*Image from
Just as I was reminded of what this shop used to do, I came across a news article about a boy who has leukemia and had his bike stolen while he and his family were on vacation. It was just sad to read about a bike that had been donated to the boy through Wheels of Hope last year now being gone. The family doesn't want another bike donated, but want to know who took the wheels from the boy. I can't say that I blame them.  Though it would be nice to see the boy get a new bicycle for Christmas.
*Image via
So, at the moment, I'm trying to plot out my holiday time giving. We don't have a lot of money to spare, but I would like to be able to help someone, in some way. We've been known in the past to play Santa and get various things anonymously for someone we know personally, but I don't think we know anyone this year who is in desperate need of anything (which is of course, a very good thing). I've considered buying extra groceries to donate to the local food shelter, which I will likely do regardless, but I'm attempting to find some unexpected way to give to someone. Anyone have any thoughts on a good place to start? I'm certainly open for thoughts and ideas, as I don't want to let this die off. It definitely doesn't have to be bicycle related, and I know there are a ton of places in need, but I tend to prefer to give outside of organized groups, as in the past I have been burned by some of them.

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