A time for hope and generosity

BY State Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, Missouri’s 6th District
Posted 12/22/21

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.

It provides an opportunity for family and friends to come together and spend time with their loved ones. During Christmastime, people also seem to be …

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A time for hope and generosity

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Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.

It provides an opportunity for family and friends to come together and spend time with their loved ones. During Christmastime, people also seem to be a little kinder, a little friendlier and a little more generous, too. And maybe some of it can be chalked up to the spirit of the holiday, but I believe Christmas provides an opportunity to highlight the goodness and generosity we practice year-round.

Take last year for instance.

According to Giving USA, Americans gave more than $471 billion to U.S. charities in 2020, a 5.1 percent increase over 2019’s total. Giving to education organizations grew by 9 percent, while donations to human services charities increased by an estimated 9.7 percent.

And all this came as the country was rocked by a widening pandemic, an economic shutdown and social isolation. 

Now, it’s still too early to tell what this year holds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw similar increases in charitable giving once again this year. As a country, we are still facing a variety of challenges. Businesses are struggling to find workers. Inflation has been driving up prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. But despite the difficulties we face, we always rise to the challenge to help each other.

2021 may not have turned out quite like the year we all hoped for, but as we reflect on the holiday season, I think that’s what helps make Christmas so special. Because beneath all the fancy decorations and festivities, Christmas is a time for hope. 

The birth of baby Jesus reminds us of the promise of better days ahead. No, the road may not always be easy, but if we continue to help one another and have faith, I know we’ll get to these better days together.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas. I hope the coming year brings us all peace and happiness.

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