Sweet treats and trick-or-treating candy galore with costumes in every store makes October hard to miss. Among the proliferation of orange, however, I’ve noticed some red and green has already begun to creep in for the impending holiday season. Wow. I think this early inundation might actually start in August… but I choose to ignore that! My mental list of upcoming holiday expenses makes me want to implement an early spending freeze. Just the cost of a Halloween costume for our 4 year old makes me cringe! He’ll be wearing a homemade costume… who doesn’t want to be a decked out as the 12th man? We have enough blue and green for the whole city.

However, despite my mental frugality, October is the month of giving at the company where my husband works. Families are encouraged to choose local organizations to donate to and his company matches the donation. What a fantastic idea! It’s a reminder that we are fortunate and there are those less fortunate. We can all participate and support a great cause in our local community. If you have a favorite organization or cause you like to support, share that passion with those around you. You might encourage them to give back as my husband’s company encourages our family.

Another important and often overlooked way to make a difference in the community is to vote. The beginning of November quickly brings in the election season. Often in the past I’ve overlooked the importance of voting, because hey, I’m just one measly voice among the masses, right? When the voter’s pamphlet comes in the mail, my first thought is I don’t have time to read it. Plus, it makes my fingers black! However, every year I notice the percentage of people who actually vote is much lower than I would imagine. Make sure you vote or be proud of your “I Voted” sticker and encourage your counterparts to vote. Together we make up our community and together we make a difference!

As we all recover from our October sugar highs and start our busy fall schedules and holiday planning, I can give you one small charitable contribution, albeit a temporary one… an extra hour of time! Daylight Saving is supposed to give us an extra hour of sleep, but if you set your clocks back early in the evening, like we do, you’ve got an extra hour to waste! Make it productive or make it fun, but make something out of it! Come spring time, you’ll have to give that hour back.