Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thinking of New Year’s resolutions? Resolve to give.

This morning--like every morning--I flicked on the radio, let the shower run, and threw a pot of water on the stove for coffee. The radio hosts were talking about New Year’s. My mind was still groggy with sleep, but I think they were saying that crime rates tend to go up right before the turn of the year. “Perhaps it’s because they make New Years’ resolutions,” one said. “They vow to be better people, and they need to get in one last misdeed before the year ends.”

Naturally, I started thinking about my own resolutions for the coming year: be less wasteful, learn to play piano, drink less coffee, learn Spanish… I’m sure my list will differ slightly from yours, but some resolutions make our lists year after year. Among them are the desires to lose weight, learn something new, or spend time with family.

It’s no surprise that we resolve to make some of the same changes every year. Many studies show that big changes are hard to make, and old habits are hard to change, particularly when attempted all at once. When stressed, even small temptations are hard to resist--which must be why, after a long day at work, I end up elbow-deep in a bag of chips before remembering I had intended to go for a run.

Now, we’re not in any position to help you achieve many of your random resolutions, but the Red Cross can definitely help you with one that routinely makes the list: help someone else.

We’ve been helping people for 130 years. So you know that if you get involved with us, you’re sure to follow through on at least one resolution.

So, help us help others. You can...
  • Volunteer as a disaster responder, teach about health and safety, or help out behind-the scenes. Our volunteers enjoy the satisfaction of helping others every single day.

  • Donate to make the work we do possible. It’s an easy, guaranteed way to help families struck by disaster. We respond to 3 to 4 home fires a day, and even $25 will buy five blankets for a family left out in the cold when they suffer such a tragedy.

  • If you simply don’t have the time to volunteer, or the cash to help out, give blood. The one pint of you donate can save up to three lives--that’s just a few minutes out of your day to check “Help someone else” off your list of resolutions… three times! Find a drive near you.
But, what about helping yourself? Make it a resolution to be prepared in case disaster strikes you or your family. Maybe you’ve resolved to learn something new? How about a class on CPR or first aid?

Make sure your resolution doesn’t show up on next year’s list. This year, join Fred, and resolve to give.

Written by: Jonathan Bressler

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