Donate this month to cheer others during holidays

To increase the cheer in your own heart, be a cheerful giver. The need is all around you, but, the opportunity to give generously, and lift yourself and others up, is right here in Westlake at Unity Spiritual Center. An upcoming giving opportunity allows you to not only give to one, two or even three local shelters, but nine of them, and just in time for the most wonderful time of the year ... Christmas.

This cheerful, caring, organization that lifts up so many is in its 31st year, and is appropriately named "The Tour of Good Cheer." It was started by Dick Clough – a guy with a soft heart, a lover of Cleveland, lots of friends, a warm heart for Cleveland's women, men and children – who blended all these ingredients together and debunks the idea that Christmas is about getting.

The Saturday before Christmas he takes the donated items, mostly warm clothing, and along with his friends and tours Cleveland via bus, stopping at homeless shelters bringing with him the gifts of generous-hearted givers. Close to 1,000 people who would have nothing on Christmas are touched by the kindness of people who care about others. 

It started out small, but over the years the Tour of Good Cheer has grown into a big project; as the problems of poverty and homelessness have grown, the need has increased. Cleveland is frigid in winter, and it's hard to think about the homeless sleeping on the mean streets, without socks, hats or even a home, but they do exist, and they need a helping hand.

It's easy to search in your closet, and select like-new items that you don't wear, or donate toys or clothes that the kids have outgrown. They'll be put to good use, and winter won't seem so harsh for those receiving them. Picture a homeless family smiling, celebrating the holidays, when they had thought there would be nothing to celebrate this year. Cheer and hope make for great partners.

The items Dick and friends need to bring Christmas to homeless families are new or gently used warm clothing and accessories. Top items on the list are coats, warm socks, sweaters, sweatshirts, sweat pants, gloves, mittens, scarves and hats. All sizes are needed to accommodate men, women and children of all sizes and ages. Speaking of children – toys, dolls, games, and puzzles are also needed. Checks are accepted and can be made out to "Tour of Good Cheer."

Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake is pleased to be collecting these items for Clough's Tour for the Christmas holiday. Donated items can be dropped off at Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Road, through the month of October. Drop-off times are Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sharon Fedor

I am Secretary on the Board of Trustees of Unity Spiritual Center. I enjoy writing about USC's event. Everyone is welcome at Sunday services, or our numerous classes, and worshops!

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:57 AM, 10.06.2015