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The greater blessing

In a matter of days, we will celebrate Christmas. There will be a wonder — an awe upon the face of children around the world as they open colorfully wrapped new treasures.

Sharon Harrup

It is a pure joy that words cannot describe nor photos capture.

We learn very early that it is a blessing to receive.

Somehow, society’s lens sometimes gets focused on this aspect of the season. Yes, it is a blessing to be on the receiving end of a gift, but it’s a two-sided coin. Jesus also advised it is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

Does it make sense that the bigger blessing is in the giving? It is seemingly a contradiction that you gain by giving away. In reality, experience proves this true again and again. While I have received countless blessings over the years (and I am ever so thankful), some of the greatest joys I’ve personally had come through giving.

Why? Again, it doesn’t make sense because it’s never easy and costs something — valued time and money. Still, it is immensely satisfying.

Here at STEPS, we are in the momentum-building business. It is the mission of our team to partner with the wonderful communities in the region to help those struggling the most to push forward through their barriers.

There are many around us in need, and I am proud of our team and the work they do.

STEPS has historically assisted individuals with disabilities, and we also aid families in need with heating and cooling bills, help children jump-start their education through Head Start and assist those with no place to sleep through the Virginia Homeless Solutions Program.

We also have Workforce Development programs that help seniors and youths, employ individuals with disabilities in recycling and secure document destruction operations, and provide workplace supports to assist Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients.

It is a lot, but there is a great need.

We get to see the smiles on the faces of someone receiving help. They often hug you, call you a blessing, thank you … It’s the heartbeat of our mission to help people. Their appreciation keeps us going, fuels us to strive to do more.

I want to thank this community, local government boards and councils, STEPS’ volunteer board and all the individuals who support what we do.

You share in the STEPS blessing. Without you, all of our support programs would merely be a Christmas wish.

Giving is a little like saving money for a rainy day. You’ll never regret that you tried to help someone.

Sharon Harrup is the president & CEO of STEPS Inc. STEPS’ corporate offices are located at 225 Industrial Park Road in Farmville. STEPS’ footprint spans an 11-county area in Virginia. For more information on any program, call (434) 315-5909.