We're back from our weekend-o-fun at Great Wolf Lodge. You may remember that it has become an annual tradition to take Tyler there to celebrate his birthday. Going forward, this annual tradition will become a birthday treat for both Tyler and Max. We're still trying to decide if we'll go in November - sort of at the half way point between both boys' birthdays; or perhaps we'll wait until January or a suitable school vacation so we can stay a bit longer and escape the winter chill. We'll see.
A few photos from our weekend are here. I seem to have lost my photo mojo lately. I've been very dissatisfied with almost every picture I take. I'm saving up for a new camera, so maybe one day I'll get my groove back. I just can't seem to make my old Canon do what I want it to do anymore. I've outgrown it's limited capabilities I think.
Tis the season for gift giving (and I sure do love getting gifts), but I know many of you see this season as an opportunity to give in other ways. If you are in the habit, as I am, of setting aside funds for charity and you are looking for the right place to spread your meager wealth, please check out:
Every year I make donations to a few select charities, including Modest Needs. The great thing about them is they help out regular Joes like you and I. Hard working folks who spend most of their time living pay check to pay check (and maybe carry a little credit card debt for those unexpected emergencies). At any moment, disaster can happen in the form of a hospitalization, or huge and unexpected expenses like your vehicle needing repair or something vital in the home breaking down.
When those bills hit, they can hit hard and leave some folks with the tough choice of paying rent or buying food (but not both). If you make a good salary, there aren't many places you can turn to for help. Most charities and programs are geared toward folks below the poverty line. Where can the rest of us turn when we need a little extra help over the short term to pay that one bill we just don't have the cash for? Modest Needs is there to fill that void.
This time of year is especially hard with home heating costs at an all time high. Not to mention the large number of people being screwed by suddenly ballooning mortgage payments. It's scary to me how just a couple hundred more dollars a month can drain the average family and cause them to lose the home they worked so hard to buy.
Another nice thing about Modest Needs is their low overhead. If you are like me, donating $5 to UNICEF or some other big charity is almost embarrassing. Once the charity takes their operations cut, how much is actually left to help? Not much. But $5 actually makes a difference and adds up with Modest Needs.
Modest Needs currently has 469 applicants looking for help with bills and expenses in the month of December. Wouldn't it be cool if all 469 of them could look forward to a happy holiday season? I hope you can take a moment and click the banner above to check them out. Read some of the testimonials. You might be surprised how a little can go a long way.