Monday, December 3, 2012

Do Good For Others This Holiday Season And Beyond

Millionaire entrepreneur Dani Johnson, actor Steven Baldwin, talk radio host Kevin McCullough, and founder of Food for Orphans Gary Van Dyke are hard at work helping to feed orphans this year. With assistance from the public, the goal of feeding 2,012 orphans during 2012 has been exceeded, with 4,524 orphans fed as of today. The year is not over and if you are not participating in this effort (or even if you are), there is still time to do good for others.

Dani and her special celebrity guests recently shared how anyone can turn this holiday season into one of doing good. Many people are down on their luck this year and 22 years ago, Dani was one of them. She was homeless and had less than five dollars in her pocket, thanks to a husband who wiped out her bank account, maxed out her credit cards, and moved to Japan with another woman. She was $35,000 in debt and had no way to pay her living expenses.

Facing the worst time of her life, Dani turned to an aunt who previously sent her holiday gifts. Unfortunately, her aunt could not help due to experiencing tough times of her own. Dani lived in her car and slept on the beach, avoiding the police. Reaching out for help had proven disappointing but it also served as a wake-up call. Dani took this as a sign to turn her life around and she encourages us to help others do the same.

Imagine being homeless and watching people scurry about doing holiday shopping and buying clothing and food for holiday parties. Think about the feelings of anger and confusion that are likely to arise. Consider how it feels to be broke, homeless, and abandoned. Save money and live within your means to avoid getting into this situation yourself. But, above all else, help others because this makes things better for everyone.

Dani believes that the reason no one would help her when she needed it is because she did not have a “helps account.” This is basically an account that accrues whenever you help someone else. Since Dani never took time to assist a homeless person or someone else in need, her helps account had a zero balance. There was nothing to draw from when she needed help.

We can avoid a similar situation by helping others whenever possible. This may mean giving pocket change to someone who is homeless and hungry or donating a used coat to keep someone warm this winter. It may also take less extreme forms such as mentoring a co-worker to excel so a much-needed raise soon follows.

Even if we do not earn a 6 figure income we should have enough money to spare for a good cause like feeding orphans. If our own budgets are tight, we can donate our time by helping out at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or building homes for people with low incomes. There are many ways to do good and we should continue them long after the holiday season has ended. 

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