The Most Valuable Gift at Christmas: Your Time

Stephanie Buckland CEO at Amana Living
Stephanie Buckland | CEO | Amana Living

Homeless support benefits everyone

Christmas seems to roll around faster every year. No sooner have I said goodbye to Easter, then I’m setting up the nativity and decorating the Christmas tree. It’s wonderful to celebrate Christmas as part of the Amana Living community. Our care centres really get into the spirit of the season with fantastic decorations adorning whole buildings. There are events galore with residents and clients enjoying special Christmas lunches and carols by school choirs, as well as taking part in local Christmas pageants and parish festivities.

Our home care team plays a valuable role in making sure our clients can take part in their Christmas traditions by helping with decorations, doing the present shopping or driving them to a function. While our chaplains dedicate their time to Christmas services that remind us of the miracle of Christ’s birth, lifting the spirits of staff and customers. Despite all of this activity, Christmas can be a very lonely time of year. Many of our residents and clients don’t have family who live nearby, or they have lost the loved ones and friends who used to be a part of their Christmas festivities. The feelings of loss and grief at Christmas, when everyone else appears to be surrounded by love, can really bring loneliness to the fore.

In circumstances like these, time is the best present you can give at Christmas. Time to listen to people’s stories, allowing them to share what’s important to them. Many people in society talk about time being a commodity but really, it’s a gift. Simply spending time with someone can make them feel valued. That’s why I’m asking you to consider giving your time to Amana Living’s customers this Christmas. We invite people from all walks of life, with a broad range of skills, to give by volunteering at Amana Living. In giving your time, you’ll receive a wonderful gift in return: the knowledge that you are sharing Christ’s love and making a difference in somebody’s life. And if you want to keep giving your time after Christmas, we’d welcome that too. We’re always in need of volunteers for programs like Tune into Life or milestone events such as the Amana Living Arts Festival. Alternatively, we can create a volunteering experience tailored to your talents and interests. To get involved in volunteering at Amana Living, email our friendly Volunteer Services Coordinator Paula Wallace at I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Article published in December 2018/January 2019 Messenger magazine