The area where I live and work is full of people with a generous spirit. One might say we have an abundance of do-gooders.

For example, this past Thanksgiving, while most of us were enjoying a feast of food and family, the do-gooders in the community were feeding hungry individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. There were the homeless and lonely among them, too.

In the upstate New York cities of Utica and Rome (where my TP Brake and Muffler shops are located), a number of faith-based organizations were open to those in need around Thanksgiving – some on Thanksgiving Day itself. For example, there were the Salvation Army operations, the Rome Rescue Mission, the Rescue Mission of Utica, the Presbyterian Church in Utica, Hope House in East Utica, and Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen in West Utica.

As some of the volunteers, quoted in the Mother Marianne’s soup kitchen blog, put it: They helped out “to give back to the community,” to “see smiling faces,” to “teach their children” about assisting people in need. One summed it up best: “Everybody becomes family, including the people you don’t even know.”

Why am I writing about do-gooders? Because it segues into the topic of what to get a friend and loved one for Christmas.

How about a donation to your favorite charity – like one of those mentioned above – in their name?

You can also get something that improves their driving experience; such as:

— a membership in a roadside service club.

— a talking GPS device (my wife says guys especially could use this).

— a gift certificate to your favorite auto service shop (did I mention TP Brake & Muffler?) for maintenance and repairs involving brakes, mufflers, batteries, and SNOW TIRES. Also, think Emergency Car Kits.

Please enjoy this holid

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