I recently saw a post by Thrillist listing the top seven states with the worst winters. And topping their list was Minnesota. Now, I’m not one to believe everything I read on the internet but having lived in this state for 20 plus years I can attest to the fact that the winters can be a bit harsh. So in December, when the days are short and the sun may not shine too often, we need to find ways to warm hearts and shine light in others’ lives.
Over the years, Goldleaf management and staff have had a tradition of giving back to those in our community who need someone to come along side them and lift them up in their time of need. This year, we held an in house winter clothing drive to assist local school children. Through the generous donations of our staff, we were able to distribute winter coats, snow pants, boots, hats and mittens to 3 local school districts to help students who otherwise would go without these necessary winter items. In addition, Goldleaf Surety Services provided groceries for Christmas dinner to three families in our area.
We also started a new tradition this year of ringing the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. Several employees were able to ring the bell at local stores over the months of November and December. According to the Salvation Army Northern Division website, volunteers are the difference between an empty kettle and one that raises about $30 per hour – enough to provide a family with two bags of groceries, or shelter an individual for a night.
While the holiday season can bring added responsibilities and stress, we have found that taking time out to give back to our communities is an excellent way to balance our lives at this time of year.