Soulful Gifts That Keep On Giving

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What’s more useful than socks and better for you than toys that make noise? How about the best gift of all, good health? For the holidays or any time of year, consider giving Good Health Gift Certificates to loved ones. Certificates for pre–paid visits to a family physician, dentist, dermatologist, podiatrist, gynecologist or other health professional can help someone with little or no health insurance stay healthy. Compared to a new sweater or bottle of cologne, a Good Health Gift Certificate wins hands down.

Health gift certificates are a creative and useful way to show your love to a few of the millions of African Americans who are uninsured, underinsured or who neglect their own health care. A day at the spa for the overstressed and overworked would be a welcome blessing. For those who’ve put on a few extra pounds, a trial membership to the local gym will offer gentle encouragement and help avoid the growing numbers of obese Black Americans. Give folks who are financially strapped a gift certificate to the local health food store. Not only will they get groceries, but exposure to new products can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s another twist: any gift is better when you become a part of it. Elders and those who haven’t been to a doctor in years will appreciate not only your financial backing, but also your company and support on their office visit. A familiar face and another set of ears to listen and eyes to see will be a helpful aid in understanding doctor’s instructions or when trying to explain an ache or pain. Mammograms, eye exams and prostate screenings can intimidate those who haven’t experienced them. Your presence and friendship will mean a lot during these procedures.

Gentle encouragement to exercise at the health club is reinforced when you become your loved one’s workout partner. In fact, just the gift of your time and companionship is enough. Become a daily walking partner for a neighbor or friend. You can have fun, lose weight and tone muscles together.

High prescription drug costs create problems for the old, the young and the in–between. If you have the resources to help someone maintain health by paying for their insulin, high blood pressure medication or other life–saving drugs, the benefit to their life and their gratitude will amaze you.

It doesn’t take much imagination to buy handkerchiefs, ties or electronic games at the mall. These items may fulfill our obligation to exchange presents, but they don’t speak from the heart like the love that’s expressed when we care for the well being of those close to us.

We can recapture the true meaning of giving by sharing the gift of life and health with others.

So think with your heart. Give from your heart. Improve a life in a way that matters. A Gift of Good Health is the best present to give 365 days a year!

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