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There are worthy ways to give
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 Thanksgiving Day 2017 has come and gone. So have the wretched excesses of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last Tuesday marked the latest celebration, “A Global Day of Giving.”
Thanks to “Giving Tuesday,” some 100 countries worldwide are pooling their resources to donate to various worthy causes. I’m all for having a global day of giving. It’s a good way to raise awareness of the importance of helping those in need. I also believe charity begins at home. A great way to put the spirit of giving into practice is by getting involved in our own community.
 What I call “presence as presents” should transcend the warm circle of family and friends. The season so joyous for many can be so sad for others, especially those who are alone and mourning the loss of a loved one. A simple visit, even a short one, can work wonders for their morale.
Another way to make our presence and presents count is by giving to worthy charities. Some are more worthy than others, based on how well they use what we donate. Please “Trust, but verify,” before you give. 
Three of my favorite worthy causes are Nursing Home Christmas, Share A Christmas Dinner, and the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation .
Nursing Home Christmas is a long-time labor of love for my good friend and well-known radio personality, Kelly Marlowe. When he saw the need for someone to be there for folks in nursing homes, lest they be forgotten at Christmas time, he rose to the challenge. Kelly still needs our help. Send your donations to: Nursing Home Christmas c/o WBMC, 230 West Colville Street, McMinnville, TN 37110.
Share A Christmas Dinner has long been sponsored by the McMinnville Noon Rotary Club and the Warren County High School Interact Club, with ample assistance from the Southern Standard. 
This season, Share continues to be there for needy families, providing them with a complete Christmas dinner. Last year, Share distributed 365 Christmas boxes to needy families in our community. With your help and mine, we can do even more this year. Send your donations to “Share A Christmas Dinner,” P.O. Box 7001, McMinnville, TN 37111, Attention: Matt Hash. Donations can also be dropped at Cleaners Express, 791 N. Chancery Street, or Security Federal Savings Bank, 306 W. Main Street, McMinnville, TN 37110.
The Tennessee Fisher House Foundation has helped make the dream of “a home away from home” come true in Tennessee. The Fisher House opened over four years ago at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center. It provides free, comfortable lodging for military families visiting their ailing loved ones. Send your donations to: Tennessee Fisher House, P.O. Box 774, Brentwood, TN 37024.
As we participate in worthy ways to give, let’s remember “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And He is the greatest gift of all.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at