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Monday, January 18, 2021

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Fredericksburg Department of Social Services

By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

Giving feels better than receiving. And during the holiday season, there is no better time to put that plan into action. Elite Daily featured a 2014 article by John Haltiwanger titled, “The Science of Generosity: Why Giving Makes You So Happy.” It explores the findings of Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School, who questioned 632 Americans about their level of income and what they spent money on. They also rated their happiness. The study concluded that, regardless of income, those who spent money on others were happier than those who spent it on themselves. This brings us to our youngest and oldest populations in need.

Children in Foster Care

Since the COVID-19  pandemic caused many people to struggle with lifestyle change—having to social distance, feeling isolated from family and friends and trying to make ends meet—it would be nice for everyone in the community to feel special during the holidays. The Fredericksburg Department of Social Services has a few ways to help enrich the lives of others and spread cheer by donating to those less fortunate.

“Holiday Help for Children in Foster Care” seeks private donors in the community to offer any amount of financial assistance to the approximately 34 children in foster or residential care. 

To donate, contact Family Services Specialist Beajor Stoddart-Johnson at b.stoddart-johnson@dss.virginia.gov, or call 

(540) 372-1032 extension 241.

Seniors in Need

Help bring good tidings to a Fredericksburg-area senior citizen in need this holiday by donating gift cards. Whether it is for pharmacies and restaurants or department stores and supermarkets, the elderly in the community would appreciate the help. 

Individuals interested in the “Gifts for Seniors” program can contact Family Services Specialist Liz Smith at elizabeth.smith1@dss.virginia.gov, or call (540) 372-1032, extension 255.

Through giving, we enrich our own lives and the lives of others, and Winston Churchill grasped the meaning of this when he stated, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” 

Make the holidays brighter for somebody else this year by helping those in foster care and senior citizens in need in the community. 

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