Having fun on the tour by Lisa Ryan“Good works are links that form a chain of love.” No matter how small the act–even a smile given honestly–can bring positivity into the life of another.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Since December of 1984, Dick Clough and his “Tour of Good Cheer” have been distributing clothing, blankets, backpacks and toys to needy kids, and homeless men, women, children and families.  I have been personally involved with the tour since 2009 and I have witnessed the difference that it makes.

People on the tour kindly acknowledge those whom they bring these gifts.  Dick and his elves go the extra mile in making the recipient feel special, letting each know that we care about making the holiday season a little brighter.  It’s a magical night for the recipients, who receive the warmth of the clothing as well as the warmth in which they are treated.  It’s also a miraculous night for all the volunteers on the tour, and the energy is palatable. Even after almost twelve hours of work, the liveliness and spirit aboard the bus is still going strong.

Studies show that people who participate in any kind of volunteer work on a regular basis experience lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not. When we come to realize the number of people who are less fortunate than we are, we learn that we can serve others and ourselves in the process.  It all starts with a smile.

If there is an organization that has a special place in your heart, why not look for a way that you can support them today?

Have fun,

Lisa

Check out The Tour of Good Cheer on Facebook to see the videos from the last few years.

Note:  This week’s message was excerpted from my book, “The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude.” To order your own copy, visit http://amzn.to/NjNs06