Making the holidays more about giving, less about receiving   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Community Service

Each year around Christmas Eve, I help put together a Holiday Edition of our employee publication, The Avista e.view. For the last four years we’ve collected heartwarming stories of fun holiday traditions, charitable giving and winter-related goodness from the communities we serve.

The publication will come out tomorrow morning, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the article I submitted this year. It’s a personal one about charitable giving and my kids. Hope you enjoy the article below.

Giving the gift of giving to my kids
I feel blessed to be an Avista employee. For the past four years I’ve grown as a professional, but also on a personal level. The spirit of giving at Avista is evident throughout the year and it has certainly opened my eyes to the many well-deserving charitable organizations in the communities we serve.

My first-grader donates her Christmas gift to the
puppies and kitties at the Spokane Humane Society.

My kindergartner donates her Christmas gift to the
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

Kids want presents, I understand that, but given the commercialism of our American holidays, it can easily become the focal point of the season. So this year when both of my kids came home from school with a page-long list of presents they wanted for Christmas, my wife and I thought it might be time to rethink the gift giving in our family.

Instead of buying them another Barbie accessory or some Justin Bieber swag, we gave our kids $25 each to donate to the charity of their choice. We called a family meeting and discussed the focus of half a dozen local charities. This was an interesting exercise to talk about what types of needs exist in our community and how fortunate we are to be able to give to others.

Our first grader decided she wanted to provide food for puppies and kitties. Her donation went to the Spokane Humane Society. She had a sheepish grin on her face when both employees behind the counter made it a point to thank her for her gift. Until she held the check in her hands and then went to the actual location where the money would be spent, I don’t think she really understood what it meant to give.

Our kindergartner wanted to help babies and their families. She decided the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery was the right place. With so many charities out there, I was a little surprised when she was so adamant that this was where she wanted her gift to go, but it made me very, very proud of her for understanding those needs at such a young age.

We hope to make this gift of charitable gift giving an annual holiday tradition for our kids. As they grow and learn more about the causes they care about I suspect they will look forward to helping give during the holidays, rather than just being on the receiving end.
Avista employees and our customers are very generous this time of year. If this article inspires you to give this year, I encourage you to donate to Avista’s Project Share Fund.
Posted by  System Account  on  12/22/2010
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