Honestly, I don’t mind writing, but I do need an inspiration to get started.  The unseasonable warm weather we are experiencing in the run up to Christmas, doesn’t exactly make one want to light a fire, put on a pot of soup, and sing carols. So, to look for ideas, I wandered into my neighbor’s yard and cut three of the most beautiful December roses I have ever seen! The holiday spirit shows itself in several forms!

Taking my laptop outside and watching the last of the colorful autumn leaves swirl to the ground I picked up the book Practically Divine, written by Becca Stevens, President and Founder of Thistle Farms.  Becca was the speaker at Women’s Fund of Smith County Power of the Purse luncheon in November.  If you were among the 650 attendees, you received a blessing from her presentation.  In the introduction to her book her she writes,” We have to do small things and believe a big difference is coming.  It’s like the miraculous drops of water that seep through mountain limestone. They gather themselves into springs that flow into creeks that merge into rivers that find their way to oceans.  Our work is to envision the drops as oceans.  We do our small parts and know a powerful ocean of love and compassion is downstream.  Each small gesture can lead to liberation.  The bravest thing we can do in this world is not cling to old ideas or fear of judgement but step out and just do something for love’s sake.’’

Becca Stevens reminds us to start from where we are and to look for the humor, wonder, and feast of love that awaits all of us. While she is certainly a much better writer than me, I don’t think she would mind me using her words as inspiration for this missive.

The Women’s Fund of Smith County members do believe exactly as Becca says that by doing small things, we believe a big difference is coming.   This circle of generous givers is now 356 strong and we are having a record-breaking year. The Grants Committee vetted 11 organizations to send to the membership for a vote. In January, the results will be announced but let me tell you a big difference is coming in the lives of women and children in Smith County!

Another way we have done our small part is by helping organize the G.I.V.E. girls this year.  Fifty-five high school girls are learning about the needs in their community and how the dollars they raise will lift up others.

In an effort to stay relevant and not cling to old ideas, we have updated our logo, website and increased our social media presence.  In addition, a task force was formed to update our Strategic Plan that will take us forward for the next five years. Failure to plan is a plan to fail!

The Community Impact committee completed a comprehensive study of all the non-profit organizations we have given grants to in the past 15 years.  Results show that our investments have indeed paid off because the vast majority of the programs funded are still going strong today.

In this season holiday season, I am constantly amazed by the selfless generosity shown to those around us in need. Let’s celebrate by remembering that the gift is often in the giving.

So, whether we find ourselves sitting barefoot among blooming roses or wading knee deep through snow covered trees, step out and do something for love’s sake.

ackie Bruton is Women’s Fund of Smith County Board Chairwoman.