Feeling Toasty: Small acts of philanthropy bring warmth

I’m looking at the forecast for this week and it’s bone-chilling. Several of my so-called friends on Facebook are only making it more poignant. One is posting a picture showing side-by-side screenshots of weather reports for both Minnesota and Antarctica, and it’s warmer in Antarctica. Another ‘friend’ is posting pictures of themselves on a white sandy beach in the Caribbean. I can’t honestly decide which makes me feel colder.

About the only thing that works to offset the bone-chill on a day like today is the heart-warmth shown by the hearty Minnesotans around me. On my way to work one day I watched people step out of their comfort zones – literally, get out of their nice, warm cars – to help out a fellow traveler who was stuck in the snow. It was during morning rush hour on a backed-up exit ramp, and no less than five people had gotten out of their cars to push the car back onto the road where it had slipped off the shoulder.

That same week, I watched a group of my co-workers jump out of their chairs, grab their coats and head outside in the middle of their workday to help push a stranded neighbor out of a snowbank on our shared street. No one hesitated or gave it a second thought; they just saw someone in need and they sprang into action.

It occurred to me that these are really just small acts of philanthropy – ways to display our love for our friends, neighbors, and fellow humans. Like the gifts you receive from your donors, they are tokens of action that help us care for one another and make the world a better place. And they are all priceless.

I wasn’t planning on making any resolutions this year but I’ve just changed my mind. Every time I start to complain about the cold weather, I’m going to throw another log on the fire, think about the hearty car-pushers, and be reminded of things that truly warm the heart.

Let’s raise a glass (of hot cocoa) and ‘toast’ to a warm and prosperous year ahead.