With the holidays approaching, it might be reassuring to know that it truly is better to give than receive…according to a Harvard Business School 2008 study.
Professor Michael Norton and his colleagues researched the money habits of 632 American men and women—how much they earn and how they spend their earnings.
What they found was that those who reported spending more money on others also reported higher levels of happiness. How much they spent on themselves seemed to have no impact on their happiness.
So if you are looking for ways to increase your happiness quotient this holiday season, here are some ideas where you can make an impact on our local community.
Hasson Company Dress for Success clothing drive. Help local disadvantaged women who are trying to become more economically independent by supporting the Dress for Success clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off at any of the Hasson Company Portland Metro offices, including mine at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, from November 13-17. Items needed include gently used dresses, pants/slacks, blouses/professional tops, blazers/jackets/winter coats, professional shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, umbrellas), scrubs, new and packaged bras, hosiery and cosmetics. Please make sure donations are freshly laundered/drycleaned and either on hangers or neatly folded in a box or shopping bag. Financial contributions are also being accepted–$500 supports one woman’s services through the program for an entire year. Clothing is just one piece of the package that Dress for Success offers. Women also receive résumé, job search, and interview preparation as well as job success services. Dress for success is definitely not just a “help out” program but a “hand up.”
Lake Oswego Toy Drive. Starting Thanksgiving week, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys to either the Lake Oswego Fire Department Main Station (300 B Avenue) or the Lake Oswego Library (706 Fourth Street). Donations will go to the Elks Club who will distribute them to local families in need. Currently there are 125 families, some with multiple children, hoping to receive your donations. Please drop off toys by December 18.
Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart. Brighten the holidays for clients of Clackamas County social service agencies. Pick up a handmade stocking or two at one of several city locations and fill with unwrapped needed items like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and gifts for kids ages 9 and up. Once the basics have been met, you can add age appropriate extras like stuffed animals, art supplies, movie tickets, bus passes and store gift cards. Then return the stockings by December 2. Many agencies request stockings in early December so November drop-offs are especially appreciated. You can also just drop off donations without a stocking and leave them in the drop-off box. Pick-up and drop-off locations in Lake Oswego include:
Bank of America, 16209 Bryant Road
D.A. Davidson and Company, Two Centerpointe Drive, #325
Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue
Lake Oswego City Hall, 380 A Avenue
Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation, 1500 Greentree
Another way to help this organization is to link them to your Fred Meyer Rewards card. You will continue to earn your Fred Meyers rewards while at the same time helping Fill a Stocking Fill a Heart earn a donation from Fred Meyer.
Coats, Blankets and Gloves. The City is collecting these essentials for distribution by Hope Sparrow Services to families in need in our community, especially children. Drop off lightly used items at City Hall, 380 A Avenue, through the south entrance from November through January.
Hunger Fighters Oregon. Three years ago when students at Lake Oswego Junior High realized that food insecurity is an issue even for Lake Oswego families, they started a club to address it. Today this official nonprofit distributes food from a pantry located at Lakeridge Junior High School, 4700 Jean Road. Donations are always welcome during business hours every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Current needs include canned fruit, canned meals (chili, pasta), and personal hygiene like toilet paper and paper towels.
Canned food drives at local high schools. Both Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High Schools will be sponsoring canned food drives during the holidays—Lakeridge from December 1-13 and Lake Oswego December 4-15. You can drop donations off at the high school main office, or if you know a student, send your cans in with him or her. Lakeridge: 1235 Overlook Drive, 503.534.2319; Lake Oswego High School: 2501 Country Club Road, 503.534.2313.
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