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My Turn - Give well, but wisely

Thanksgiving Day 2019 has come and gone. So have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last Tuesday marked another “Global Day of Giving,” whereby over 100 countries worldwide continue to pool their resources to help a variety of worthwhile causes.

Now I’m all for global giving, but I also believe charity begins at home. Giving globally and giving locally are not necessarily mutually exclusive -- if you have the monetary means, that is.

However, most folks I know prefer to donate to local or regional charities, and so do I.

Two of my favorite worthy causes are Nursing Home Christmas and the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation.

Nursing Home Christmas has long been, and continues to be, a labor of love for my lifelong friend and well-known Peg Broadcasting radio personality Kelly Marlowe. Nicknamed “Pa,” he saw the need to help people in a local nursing home, lest they be forgotten and forlorn come Christmastime. What many saw as a problem, Pa saw as an opportunity. He launched Nursing Home Christmas in 1998. Thanks to his energy, initiative, ingenuity, and sheer persistence, what started as a trickle evolved into a torrent of donations, large and small.

As I understand it, Nursing Home Christmas has raised over $145,000 and expanded the project’s coverage beyond just the one nursing home. Moreover, 100 percent of that money goes to the intended recipients.

That said, Nursing home Christmas still needs our financial support -- yours and mine. Together, we can be a vital part of sustaining this worthy cause. Please send your donation right away to: Nursing Home Christmas, WBMC, 230 West Colville St., McMinnville, TN 37110.

The Tennessee Fisher House Foundation turned the long-held dream of “a home away from home”  into a dream come true for military families. The Tennessee Fisher opened Nov. 7, 2013 at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro. It continues to provide comfortable, complimentary lodging for thousands of military families who are visiting their ailing loved ones in hospital. I urge you to send your donation tomorrow to: Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, P.O. Box 774, Brentwood, TN 37024.

Nursing Home Christmas and the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation are timely and true reminders that donating to these worthy causes can give us joy as well.

One more thing. If you donate to other causes, “trust, but verify” is a good rule to go by. A large “overhead” means less money is actually going to the intended recipients. 

To find out more about this, go to: You’ll be glad you did.

Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at