The last few months of the year make up what is commonly called the Giving Season for the nonprofit community. As the holidays near, many people give more generously than during the rest of the year.  

December is usually the strongest month for most charitable organizations, with donors giving 52 percent more than in other months. Charities receive approximately 33 percent of the year’s donations in December.

During the holidays, we often think of the word “generosity” when honoring friends and family. Generosity can be donating to our local and worldwide communities: a donation to a church’s food pantry, lending support to a large country-wide organization, or a gift of service.

Whether you donate time or money, giving back is beneficial and not just for the recipients. Most people are blessed with all the “things” they need, but gifts of generosity to others strengthens the spirit. It is important to take the time during the holiday season to give to those people who are in need and to serve others during the holidays.

Many local businesses who are Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce members are giving back this season in a variety of ways.

To share some of the many efforts taking place in our community:

  • The Specific Chiropractic, with Dr. Cameron Call, is partnering with Childhelp to collect toys for abused and neglected children. In their care facilities, children come to receive help and one component of that is giving each child a toy that gives them comfort and hope. Through Dec. 20, anyone who brings in a toy will receive $100 off their initial exam or one of their famous bone pillows.

  • Dan Dobbins, owner of the UPS store at Ray Road and 48th Street is enthused about being part of the Toys for Tots Literacy program for the fourth year. A a book is purchased for every $1 donated and given to children age K–6. UPS stores across the country are the exclusive sponsors of this program.

  • The United Brokers Group is providing real estate agents as bell ringers for the Salvation Army again this year at the Fry’s at 36th Street and Ray Road each Wednesday through Dec. 21.Dean Carver, owner/partner, said, “A huge part of United Brokers Group’s culture is to give back to our community. We are proud sponsors of the Festival of Lights and have raised over $38,000 ringing the bell for the Salvation Army since 2013.”

  • Platinum Medical Group of Arizona is collecting donations for St. Vincent DePaul and owner Dr. James Dicensio said, “At PMGAZ we are honored to be one of those organizations that gives back to our local community with strength, compassion, and drive. We strive to not only change the lives of those we meet directly in office, but strive to change the lives of those we are unable to meet but are able to help.”

  • Betty Teille, of Edward Jones investment services, shares her passion for giving by supporting a charity each year at her year-end customer appreciation event. This year, Rio Visa Center was the chosen charity, with guests bringing food, clothing or a monetary donation.

  • The Ahwatukee community loves the Festival of Lights with the holiday lights shining the way down Chandler Boulevard in the Foothills, but there is more.

Janyce Hazlett, President of the Festival of Lights said, “While we are a 501c3, a non-profit organization formed to bring a feeling of community and beauty to our village, it is of great importance to us to share our fund-raising efforts by giving back to local charities who benefit by not only receiving a portion of our proceeds from our events, but also by participating in the development and execution of the events themselves.”

This year the Girls Rule Foundation, an Ahwatukee based non-profit, focused on empowerment, leadership and educational workshops/programs for girls 12-18, and the Y’OPAS (Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors) were recipients.

Giving back is an opportunity to help others and it’s also one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself. We are the example for our children, reflecting the importance of giving back as they grow. The effort to recapture the true meaning and importance of the holiday spirit begins with each of us. 

Holiday giving is giving back with meaning.

-Janet Schwab is owner of Elements Massage Chandler West, and the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Palo Verde Businesswoman of the Year winner.

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