Giving Hands

Little girl donating money

This weekend, I went with some of my students to ring the bells for the Salvation Army. I love taking time to give back to my community, and I love it even more when I can share that experience with my students. I am aware that my life is a life of privilege and any chance I can, I try to use that privilege to give back to those around me.

So this weekend, with the help of some incredible kids, I stood outside Wal-Mart and rang that little bell and greeted everybody that went by. My students sang Christmas carols with gusto and joyful hearts. We wore Santa hats and reindeer antlers and elf ears. And we had a good time hanging out, getting to spend time together in a less formal setting than in the classroom. 

But most importantly, we got to see people with the biggest hearts donating their money to help other.

Watching so many people go out of their ways to donate to others was a beautiful experience. I was touched to get to interact with so many strangers cleaning out their pockets and the coin catchers in their cars and giving their change from the store. In many cases, it wasn’t much. But it was something. Small acts of kindness can all add up to do big things.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


I wholeheartedly agree with Aesop. The smallest act can change a life. The smallest notion can bring about great change. Being part of that small act–and taking my students on this journey with me–means the world to me. I can’t imagine what it means to the people who will receive the donations, those who will receive these small acts of kindness throughout this season of giving.

Hands can tell so much about a person. I loved taking these photos, showing the Giving Hands. I love how they give away tons of information about a person. Hands tell you age and walks of life and types of labor people have done. Hands are made for hugging and helping and holding and giving.

Hands are made to make a difference.

This Christmas season, I encourage you to put your hands to good use. Use them to give and serve. Use them to support and help. Use them to comfort and to hold. Use your hands to spread joy and peace.

Use them to love. 

This Christmas, find your own giving hands.

The Plucky Reader

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