by Corey Schmidt

Do you ever look around and instantly feel thankful? Do you ever wonder why you are so fortunate to feel blessed?  We are entering the season of thankfulness, the season of giving. It is a time where we can reflect on our lives and truly appreciate the gifts that we have been given. The result of these feelings is often an urge to give and be generous.

As Naperville parents, one of the challenges my wife and I face is helping our boys understand that life isn’t this way for much of the world. Certainly we can point to issues in Third World countries, but how do we help them see the issues closer to home? How do we help our boys understand that families in need are not thousands of miles away, but actually, they could be sitting next to them in class?

I look at giving as something I can model for my two boys.  I can help them understand the needs of others, and at the same time, help them value the things they have versus taking them for granted.

During this festive season, look for opportunities to give as a family. Whether it is by participating in a food drive for Loaves & Fishes, serving Thanksgiving Dinner at Meson Sabika, or participating in GiftMart, there are opportunities to give back.

During this season of giving, many of you will receive numerous giving appeals.  Many of us already have worthy causes to which we donate our time, talents and treasures.  My challenge to you is for you to look for one more cause where you can help, and explain to your children why it is important to you, and perhaps, get them involved. Turn your generosity into a moment where you can pass on those values to another generation.  Happy Holidays!

Corey Schmidt is a Wealth Advisor at Thrivent Financial and Vice Chair Advancement for the Board of Directors at Loaves & Fishes Community Services. His contact info is available at www.connect.thrivent.com/corey-schmidt.

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