Good Sunday morning, everyone! As the new year approaches, I don’t want to ask you about your New year’s resolutions but how can we take this Christmas spirit of giving into the new year.

As a Christmas tradition, my daughter treats me to the movie "It’s a Wonderful Life" at the Virginia Theater each year, with Starbucks to follow. While I was watching this show, which I have seen more times than I can count, I really tried to think about what life would be like if I wasn’t in it.

Hopefully, you have all seen the movie so you know what I am talking about. The main character, George, is given a great gift to see what the world would be like if he had never been born.

Although we aren’t supposed to keep track of all the good, we have done for the sake of others, try to imagine what life in our communities would be like if you had never been born. How many of you play a big role in your families, your neighborhoods, your churches, clubs and other organizations?

The movie starts off with people in the town of Bedford Falls praying for George Bailey. It is through prayer that God is going to transform George’s life and show him all the good he has done in the world. In fact, just before George is about to commit suicide, he makes a short prayer to God saying, “Show me the way.” It’s hard to imagine a more powerful prayer.

The key point in the movie is that every person’s life touches the lives of so many others. George didn’t realize that through a life that he found to be somewhat boring and humdrum he was accomplishing so much good.

When he is given the gift to see it differently, he is filled with the deepest gratitude, especially for his family and friends.

United Way wouldn’t exist without its donors, Toys for Tots wouldn’t exist without its donors. Did you donate a toy or money toward the Toys for Tots program this year? You made a positive impression on a child that will last their lifetime.

How do I know that? Because I have adults, every year, that will tell me how one toy made their Christmas as a child. One toy, not lots of toys, made an impression on them that lingers still today.

We will never know this side of Heaven just how much our good works has impacted others, but we can rest assured knowing it is many. So, don’t stop caring Dec. 26, take the Christmas spirit into the new year. We need you to keep being the George Bailey in our community.

Happy New Year! May 2020 bring many blessings to you and yours.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512

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