Over the years, it seems, the holiday season has become the shopping season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday matching Thanksgiving for our attention. But recently there has been a movement to bring our collective attention back to the holidays and more importantly to the spirit of season – thanksgiving, celebration and especially giving.
Following the shopping feast that is Thanksgiving weekend, Tuesday has officially become Giving Tuesday. It’s a day set aside for people around the world to give back, to contribute to those people and not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve others and better the world. Giving Tuesday builds on and expands the Christmas tradition of giving gifts to friends and family by encouraging us to give gifts which benefit people we may not know.
Now if you’re convinced that Giving Tuesday represents the right focus of our holiday season let me encourage you to donate to your favorite not-for-profit or ministry. If you’re not sure where you should give let me give you two places your gift will benefit kids. First, is the ministry I work for – SpringHill (click here) and the second, the Christian Camp and Conference Association’s Corner of the Fields camper scholarship fund (click here). By supporting organizations that work with kids you’re helping to build their future and the future of our world.
So please consider expanding the Thanksgiving weekend one more day beyond Cyber Monday and make Giving Tuesday a new tradition in your family.
Organization history can act like an old friend or jilted lover. It depends on how you treat her.
The secret is to understand the nuances of the organization’s history including what’s sacred and what’s not, then respecting the sacred even if it’s detrimental to the organization. If it is detrimental then change it. But work to preserve what’s good while only changing what needs changing.
When SpringHill has approached its organizational history in this way the results have been honoring to its history as well as moved the organization forward. Our New Frontiers Dining Hall at our Michigan overnight camp is a good example.
About 10 years ago we outgrew this Dining Hall. But because it’s the first major building built at SpringHill it’s full of history. For example there’s a miracle story about the beams and another about committed volunteers who made the very cool lighting fixtures.
Then there’s the fireplace. It’s sacred ground because it’s the spot where, over the years, 100’s of camp speakers stood as they shared their messages. As a result 1000’s of people had life transformational experiences as they looked upon that fireplace.
This meant tearing down the Dining Hall was not an option even if the cost of expanding and renovating was the same as building new. Instead we added to, renovated and built around the sacred parts of the building, designing it to feel and look like an updated version of the original.
The result is we have a building that does two important things. First it preserves our history and allows us to continue to tell the important God stories which make up our past. Secondly we now have a Dining Hall that serves both our needs and most importantly the needs of our campers and guests.
For over twenty years Michael Perry has made it his mission to bring young people closer to Christ through his Bible study publications, his capacity as the President and CEO of SpringHill, and his recent book, Experience = Everything. Over the last fifty years, SpringHill has changed over half a million lives—proving that it is more than just camp, or a place, SpringHill is a transformative experience.