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Posted December 22, 2009
Yes, 'tis the Christmas Season and the traffic is awful, the stores are packed, and folks buy gifts worrying in the back of their minds how they will pay for everyone on the Christmas List come next month's bills. That is only one reason why it is such a pleasure to come across this brief but warmly sharing book HOW TO BE AN EVERYDAY PHILANTHROPIST by Nicole Bouchard Boles. It is difficult to not change old habits and value systems after reading her wise ideas and helpful maps on how to help the world be a better place. Though the book is not a seasonal book, it is one that belongs as a stocking stuffer for the Holidays - a gift that will provide a sense of satisfaction in the coming years as we follow the author's suggestions on how to 'give back'.
The format of the book is very user friendly. Each section is divided into how to re-think what each of us has as a potential for helping others, a section of writing that is supportive in suggesting how everyone is capable of being a giver or an 'everyday philanthropist'. The author then follows her mind set changes with practical, easy steps that show the depth of research that went into this book, finding ways to give of ourselves in every fashion - and the directory for this new vision is the computer!
How to give back to the community the things that are missing in the lives of those less fortunate than us? Nicole Bouchard Boles offers the following sections: Use Your Body (from organ donation to being someone's eyes in reading to the blind, to using the legs to run marathons for charity, etc); Use Your Family (volunteering as family to be Big Brother or Big Sister, caring for other people's pets, etc); Use Your Computer (she gives a large number of reliable computer addresses that direct us to ideal charitable organizations); Use Your Talents (such as Pro Bono work, Habitat for Humanity, provide grant proposals for those in need of assistance in that field); Use Your Belongings (care packages to soldiers, books for prisoners, donate clothes, cars, food, timeshares); Use your Time (volunteer in times of disaster, on election day, ring a Christmas Kettle Bell); Use your Community, Your Decisions, Your Awareness.
This book is not only a pleasure to read as a means of discovering how much we all have that we could share to make the world a friendlier and better place, it also is one of the best resources published on how to find reliable internet sources to help the reader mark the path toward changing the idea of gifting. Just reading this book makes for an eye-opening experience on how very easy it is to feel the joy of being a significant citizen.