Friday, December 11, 2009


As you may know, I edited a handbook on social justice issues called The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World." I have a few extra copies of The Revolution sitting on a shelf in my living room, along with copies of my novel Basil's Search for Miracles, and I'd like to give some away. Respond to this post before the end of the day on Tuesday, December 15 with a practical suggestion for how folks can serve those in need this holiday season. When you comment, your name will be entered into a drawing for a package containing two of my books (if you win, you can choose which ones). I'll try to get the books in the mail to the winners in time for Christmas.

Should you choose to participate, make sure you include some way for me to contact you in your response (i.e. yourname(at)email(dot)com). Thanks!


  1. Heather,
    Some practical suggestions for helping those in need:
    1)Give them a gift card for a local grocery store.
    2) Contribute to a local food bank
    3)Clean out your closet, take your usable stuff to a thrift store

    Tim Zydek

  2. Hi Heather,
    I have heard great things about your book and it has been on my "to purchase list" for quite awhile. That list is always long and simply grows faster than I can chip away. I work with Children and Families at a church in SoCal. Here are some ways we are giving inside our community.
    * Sponsor a child from a country which has issues with clean water (this has been an emphasis for us this year) as a Christmas gift.
    * Donate a Turkey/Ham to our church's food distribution center as we try to give every family who visits a fresh turkey or ham.
    * Carry a kit in your car to give away to homeless people. Kit includes (new, warm socks, a protein bar/tuna kit, small pack of dried fruit, bus token, holiday card drawn by the children. We encourage families to sit down and talk to the people they meet and not simply hand the pack and go.
    * Think of alternative gifts instead. Give to another person/organization which would be meaningful to a loved one. EX- my sister is an educator and believes strongly in the importance of education for women. I am giving her the gift of job training for a woman who has been rescued from sexual exploitation. (I hope she does not see this.)

    ~Truly great idea.
    Amy Lunde-Whitler

  3. Throughout our day, we encounter those in need as we come/go to work, shop, take kids to school or events, visit friends, etc

    Between now and the Feast Day of the Nativity of our Lord, have a place in your home where you can put spare change, extra money, or anything you are able. Either buy gift/food certificates or just take the money with you for the sole purpose of having something to give to others as we encounter them... as we encounter our Lord through them. If you have children, have them participate.

  4. A practical suggesting on how folks can serve those in need....

    My first thought is finding out what their need is. Do they need heat, shelter, clothing, food, water, transportation, a helping hand?

    One thing we do is get to know our neighbors. One neighbor had a stroke last year so we took over shoveling the snow for him. Another neighbor recently injured his back so we're keeping an eye on his sidewalks. Their needs are physical assistance with snow removal.

    Other people might need food - food baskets or gift cards would fill that need. Be careful with the gift cards, though, because transportation might also be a need and if you've ever carried groceries on a bus you'd appreciate delivered groceries FAR more than a card.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is to really KNOW the people in need so their needs get fully met.

  5. Go and work in a soup kitchen or meal kitchen. And then after your shift, sit down with some of the guests and get to know them. People don't just need food, they need uncritical human contact.
    Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

  6. The winners, whose names were drawn from a box by my 4-year-old daughter, are Jennifer and Amy! Thank you all for sharing your wonderful ideas. Merry Christmas!