By Charles Chang
During this time of year, most people think about all the things that they are grateful for. For many, it is knowing that the people they love and care about are safe and sound. For others, it’s being grateful for another year of cancer remission, the return of a loved one from a war zone, or just having a job when so many others are still out of work.
In addition to gratitude, the Holidays are a wonderful time for generosity; not only toward the ones you love, but also to others that you may not know but can still benefit from your kindness. We have all benefited from a random act of kindness and during these moments, giving back can be a great gift.
One holiday many years ago, I remember being far from home and being in a strange city. I was tirelessly walking and trying to get somewhere when a kind man stopped to offer me a ride. Maybe the fact that I looked innocuous and helpless made him offer me a ride when I didn’t even have my thumb out trying to hitch a ride. I was really exhausted from walking and at the time, I was not aware of how to find a cab. To this day, I remember this man and I am very grateful for his act of kindness. Throughout the years, this event has continued to inspire me to try to give back and display generosity to others.
About ten years ago, at the intersection of Olympic Blvd and Wilton/Arlington, I saw this elderly Korean grandmother walking in the middle of the road. She was obviously a little out of it to be in the middle of a huge intersection with cars going all around her. I was surprised that no one stopped to help her. So I stopped my car, and picked her up. Luckily, I knew just enough Korean to ask her where her home was. I took her home and dropped her off. A few months later, I saw a big billboard at that same intersection commending a couple of police officers for getting that same grandmother off of that intersection like I did. I guess the police department felt the good PR would help them with relations with the Korean community. Although I didn’t get a billboard for my efforts, my reward was feeling good for helping someone in need.
So I’d like to ask you to do something that may not offer great recognition but will still allow you to make a great contribution to your community. If you’re thinking about where to make an end of year donation, please think about APADRC and the work that we do for community and schools. We will thank you and recognize you in our newsletter, but more importantly, you will know that you have spread your kindness to the community and to an organization that truly works hard to improve the conditions for the people around your home. Please click on the donate button at the top of this page and give what you can. We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Thank you for being our partner in peace and please forward our newsletters to others who may be interested in reading our stories and contributing to our cause..