linda_2010by Linda Turkington
Collective Impact Associate

During the holiday season, the pressures can really cause stress for everyone. Shopping for loved ones can bring up financial worries. Even simple holiday parties cause people to stress about what to bring for a gift exchange and how to fit in time to cook a dish to share. I admit that sometimes the holiday season makes me a little stressed.

Working here at United Way of Salt Lake, I am constantly reminded that the small amount of stress I feel is not important when I realize how generous the spirit of the holiday is. This year again, Target donated 30 Christmas trees to brighten the season for some of the families that live in our community. 

I dropped off a tree to one particular family. As I set up the tree, they were so excited. They had me set it up in their family room so when you walked into their home, it would be the first thing you saw. When I learned later of their circumstances, I was clearly humbled. Both parents worked full-time, but struggled to pay all of the bills to support their three children. They were also recipients of a toy program so their children could have presents on Christmas. When someone had contacted them about receiving a tree donation, they were so excited. Their children wanted a tree in their home like so many of their classmates. When learning this, I thought – here I am worrying about when I am going to get my shopping done or when I am going to bake cookies, and this family just wanted a simple tree.

So, when you feel pressure to give into the rush of the holidays, or a busy schedule the rest of the year, remember that what really matters are the simple acts of kindness. People will always remember the generosity that you show. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”- John Bunyon

If you are interested in volunteering to make a difference all year long, please dial 2-1-1.