Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Let’s be there for one another December 6, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


WHAT ARE YOU DOING for others this holiday season? How are you connecting, offering support, comfort and care, and bringing joy and hope to others? I’m talking outside your immediate circle of family and friends.

Today, more than ever, we need to care about one another in a world that seems increasingly self-centered, mean and hostile.

We have the power individually and collectively to make a difference, to counter the negativity, to do something good. Not for ourselves. But for others. Especially during the holiday season.


Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


For example, each December for the past several, I’ve rung bells for the Salvation Army. It’s uncomfortable standing outside in the biting cold of a Minnesota winter. But it’s only for two hours and I can step inside Walmart to warm my hands under the bathroom hand dryer when my fingers feel numb. This is not about my comfort, though. Rather this is about greeting people with warmth and accepting donations from those wanting to help others.

And there are plenty of generous souls. This year a woman stopped, pushed coins into the kettle slot and told me she knew what it was like to go through rough times. And then there was the young mom who parceled coins into her toddler son’s hand to drop into the kettle. Except he returned each coin to her and then watched her drop the pennies, the quarters, the…into the bucket. What a valuable lesson she taught him. I especially appreciate those young parents who model giving.


Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


Not everyone can give financially. I get that. But we can give of our time. On Sunday afternoon my bible study group gathered to wrap gifts as part of our Angel Tree Project. We’ve done this for years, ending our wrapping marathon with a soups and salads dinner together. I am always amazed at the generosity of people who pull some 75 paper angels from a Christmas tree at our church and then purchase gifts for those less fortunate. One young boy asked for a tacklebox (he’s getting it). I found that especially refreshing in a time when most kids would rather stay indoors with their tech toys. Typically I don’t like wrapping presents. But doing this with friends is fun and fosters a sense of togetherness in a shared mission.

I also helped pack boxes for our military men and women overseas and filled bags for local veterans. As the daughter of a Korean War veteran, I can only imagine how much my dad would have appreciated such a gift. Through that volunteerism I indirectly honored my dad.


Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2018.


There are endless ways we can help one another. It doesn’t take much effort to find a cause that fits your interests and your talents. Or simply reach out on your own to uplift someone. Send a card. Make a phone call. Give a hug. Mentor a child. Open a door. Smile.

It’s within our power to make this world a better place, to show we really do care about others through our positive words and actions.

TELL ME: How do you help others?

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Let’s be there for one another”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    I write letters to a few elderly friends throughout the year. During the holidays I bake more than 1K cookies – some go to FD’s co-workers to thank them for their help all year long, and some go to neighbors, service people, and elderly folks. I still visit my friend Hillard on a regular basis. He used to be my neighbor and friend, and after his wife died I helped him with doctor appointments and visited him often. A few months back he moved to a nursing home twenty miles away. I try to make weekly visits. There, I have made even more friends with residents there that he has become friends with. You are right, there are people everywhere who need us… a smile, a little time, a little help in some way.

    • Oh, Lori, bless you for all you are doing to uplift others. That’s a lot of cookies which I’m sure are deeply appreciated.

      I love that you write letters. Not many people take the time to do that anymore. And that you try to visit Hillard weekly and others in the nursing home warms my heart. I know how much those visits mean to those folks as my mom lives in a nursing home a 2 1/2-hour drive from me and appreciates all visits. Thank you for your acts of love, gratitude and kindness.

  2. I work for a not for profit and are community-based. I am a big supporter of the Veterans and their families. We are participating in stuffing the stockings for Veterans and their families as well as a highlight is the Suncoast Brotherhood motorcycle toy run for Veterans and their families. We also support the small businesses in the community we live in. Love being part of a great community 🙂 Giving back is my favorite gift to give! Thanks for the Reminder – Happy Day – Enjoy

  3. Bella Says:

    I appreciate this post today as a reminder to all we can be doing more to help others and to share what we have with others less fortunate. Thank you for emphasizing the word service.

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    Our little church, again, managed 60+ shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse and #2 son/DIL have their “Giving Tree” up at their convenience store in town and have already collected many gifts that will be distributed in Houston. The giving of “time” is still the most precious…….visits to the long term care facility/assisted living in town are many. We each have different gifts and talents given to us. It’s with great joy that I’m able to share the seasonal music in various venues.

    • That’s the key, I think, to use our talents to serve others. Giving needs to come from the heart and when it does, joy follows. Thank you for playing piano at the hospital in Winona. And thanks to your church and to your son/DIL for setting up that giving tree. I love all the ways of giving that you wonderful readers are sharing here today.

  5. A message very well needed in these times. Thanks Audrey.

  6. Valerie Says:

    I’m going up to serve at Feed My Starving Children today.

  7. Gunny7 Says:

    Thank You all for all that you do

  8. Ruth Says:

    That is a lot of home baked cookies. I know they are devoured with gusto! Writing letters seems like such a heartfelt gift, to receive and read over and over again. I need to think about doing more- well not just think, but DO! Good post to remind us, Audrey.

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