Generous contributions don't always involve money.
One local organization is asking area residents to donate the gift of time - as little as one hour each week.
And, based on the testimony of past and present contributors, the rewards are enormous.
Missouri Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is seeking "bigs" for about 60 youngsters now on a waiting list.
The group matches children ages 6-17 with an adult mentor who can listen, share experiences and offer guidance.
Two programs are available. A school-based program asks adult volunteer to commit to one hour each week; a community-based program requires a commitment of two hours a week.
As a result of the rewards shared by student and mentor, the partnership often develop beyond the minimum requirements.
Big Brother Tom Schwarz, who has volunteered with the program for nine years, said: "It's not hard to make time to spend with your little. After you see them and spend time with them, you want to volunteer more."
And Ed Clausen has such fond memories of his time as a Little Brother, he now volunteers as Big Brother.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call the BBBS office, 634-3290. The agency does conduct an interview and background check for all applicants.
Agency Director Lee Knernschield said: "This program allows someone to provide a child with guidance and to offer a viewpoint on a child's potential in life. Take that step and give it a try. You can help change their future."
Consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. It will be time well spent.