I know, it’s always “that time of year” for something all year round, but now it’s time for all of those end of the year things we have to remember. From donations for taxes, to giving groceries to food pantries, to making sure the walk is shoveled for the octogenarian who lives next door–it’s time for all of those end of the year tasks that just make us feel good.
Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is around the corner, or that Santa is still marking his Naughty-and-Nice list, but I find I smile more this time of year when I’m loading up my Honda wagon to give something away. Last week it was books for the annual library sale, held locally here the last weekend before Halloween. More than a dozen boxes later, and the back of my wagon was full, the tires were challenged, and I was ready to go. My librarians were thrilled.
I’ve always given away a box or three of books each year about this time, but this year I decided to gain space while I did my drop-off, and added any books I didn’t scream over as I contemplated giving them away. And I’m so glad I did. For the first time, I found the book sale work space more than half empty at the library. That had never happened before. Usually, I had to search by this time of year to find an empty horizontal surface to stack my donation boxes. This year, I had my pick of floor space. There were some books already donated, sure, but it was obvious to me that ebooks are affecting more than just brick-and-mortar book seller locations.
Best of all, my library donation means I had one floor-to-ceiling bookshelf completely clear and ready for use in my writing business–without buying another piece of furniture. I have several more individual shelves with available space in other rooms of the house, now, and ready to take on Christmas decoration duties (after Thanksgiving, of course) without my having to shift stuff to make the new seasonal stuff fit.
By the first of November, I will go through my pantry and see what I can share with local food banks. I always buy larger stocks when canned goods are on sale or I have a lot of coupons, and I’m thinking that if I share so someone else has a bit more at Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll be able to enjoy my dinner that much more.
Yes, anytime I make a donation I get a receipt. The nonprofits are happy to furnish receipts and my taxman is happy to see the small paper slips as he fills out my return. And while the deduction is likely never as high as the value of what I actually give, the return on my happiness is truly too great to calculate. Giving makes me smile, and getting a smile back is worth all the time, cost and effort.
What about you? Do you have a favorite nonprofit or group you like to give to each year?