This is the time of year when everyone talks about gratitude. It’s almost as if there’s an obligation to bring it up because, after all, we have a holiday that bears its name, Thanksgiving. My first thought, what a shame that we don’t talk about gratitude regularly. We as a people can’t be grateful only from November to December every year, the rest of the time, we just _____ fill the void. Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful. I am grateful for that.
So, what can we do with this gratitude? Is it enough just to think about it or make statements about it? I would suggest that especially this year, with all that we have all endured over the past two years, we have to do a lot more than think or talk about gratitude. We need to act on this gratitude in ways that help others.
The funny thing about acting on a large scale, stemming from gratitude, is that it benefits not only the person doing the act, but the entire community of people receiving the act. I suggest that we should take our gratitude and multiply it by showing generosity.
So, what does this have to do with the drug? If you talk to me, I can bring up any topic about real estate. Real estate to me is a place we call home, a place where we work, worship, learn, eat, or buy things; Real estate is a location, a part of every part of our lives. When we show generosity in the places I mentioned above, it elevates whole groups of people, entire communities.
I want to start by focusing our gratitude on our local business. If you’re grateful for this gorgeous village, the collection of estates we live in, it probably has something to do with how charming, friendly, easy, and familiar Fallbrook feels. It sounds like this, because someone took a chance and opened a store or restaurant that they thought you would enjoy and support.
I’m in my office Monday through Friday and know the owners and appreciate their love for this village. I support each of them throughout the year, in the ways I can.
Let’s start with the retail stores along Main Avenue. You can show your gratitude for the blessings you have in your life and push that gratitude forward by shopping locally, first, and as often as possible. Yes, I know it is easier to shop online. But who benefits? Nobody locally. Nobody from that big store in the cloud is going to say hi to the grocery store, or wave to you when they see you on the street. Did you know that 86% of every dollar spent locally goes directly to the local market? When you shop online, none of the money spent returns to the local market.
What about restaurants? They could all use a “gratitude” hug this year. It’s closed, then partially opened, and now it’s finally open but with fewer staff, food shortages, and higher food prices they can get. Challenges continue for our restaurants. They need your generous support now.
There is another community within Fallbrook that needs your support, especially this time of year. Every Fallbrook nonprofit has had to reinvent itself to be able to offer its usual services to its customers, as well as find new ways to raise much-needed money to pay for the services it provides. Many of them lost a lot this entire year, not being able to do live events to raise operating funds. They’re all starting slowly again, but it’s very hard to catch up in a world full of needs that never stop needing just because the way we’re allowed to operate has changed.
So here’s the next challenge. After you’ve shopped in Fallbrook for your Christmas gifts this year. After enjoying a meal at one of the local restaurants in Fallbrook. Check out some of the many nonprofits that could use some extra Christmas cheer in the form of a cash donation.
Do you like animals? Then bring your gratitude forward by generously donating money, pet food, pet supplies, or support to pay for veterinary care for the many creatures that Valbrook Animal Sanctuary cares for. You can add your name to the list of foster families, so if the shelter needs a home for the cats that arrive in the spring, they’ll know they can count on you. Can you enjoy a new pet? Visit Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary before you look anywhere else. It is a well known fact that owning a pet is good for our health. Soothe and caress your four-legged friend. It reminds you of what’s important. Companionship, something that many of us lack, can be mitigated when you own a pet.
Do you like the elderly? Express your gratitude forward by generously donating money to the Aged Care Foundation or the Fallbrook Senior Center. You might be available to provide lunches for the seniors staying at home or hand out a “care package” to simply show some love. You can support a Foundation for Senior Care Van sign financially or pay a month’s worth of gas so the van can pick up seniors and drive them to doctor’s appointments or buy groceries for their kitchens. How about writing a short note or sending a sweet card to the incarcerated seniors? The generosity of the heart is just as important as the generosity of the pocket.
Do you have heart for the many people who remain unemployed and must choose to either pay rent or buy food? Then donate to Fallbrook Food Pantry. You can donate money to help support food delivery, donate food to stock their shelves, or donate your time to help with grocery bags to be picked up by multiple visitors each day. You can even build an entire family for the holidays. Despite the easing of travel restrictions, there are still some challenges that may keep us at home. Why not pay your love to someone who could use an extra “hug” this time of year?
Are children at the top of your list when you think of help? Be the sponsor of the Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Club has found new and innovative ways to support many children during the pandemic, who had parents who were able to work, so could not be at home to help their children and keep them safe. Our children are one of the most vulnerable groups. We need safe places like the Boys and Girls Club to step in and fill that urgent need. Consider donating generously to the programs they offer.
The last place you can show your gratitude is by subscribing to Village News. I know if you’re reading this column, you’re a village news reader. We all love to read local stories and articles. Personally, I love the opinion pieces and comments from publisher Julie Reed. When our kids were in school, we loved reading about sports, programs, and other school awards. Our little newspaper keeps us in touch with each other and we can now use more communication. But guys, the newspaper needs your support. Last week I offered a special that costs $1.00 for the first month and only $5.99 a month after that. That’s only $67 a year.
In our office, we have a “newsstand” with copies of Village News for visitors or new residents of Fallbrook. However, week after week, I see the same local folks getting a copy “for free” when they can sign up and thus support the newspaper. It’s time to stop the free download and start supporting. Let’s show our gratitude for this unique and almost extinct form of news and community information by being generous and participating.
Walbrook has been grateful to many over the years. This year, let’s push it forward with the generosity of companies that have been hit the hardest. Thank you Valbrook.
Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or 760-415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is a board member of the California Association of Realtors.