Sunshine on the Sideline: The Season of Giving

Thanksgiving is now in the rearview, and I hope it was great for everyone, even if it wasn’t quite what we’re all used to.  Now, we’re all headed quickly to the holidays, and no matter what you celebrate, gift-giving is usually part of it. I know that I normally highlight a single charity and talk about the great work that they do, but this time I want to talk about a general charitable act with a larger scope: donating gifts to children. 

There are great charities doing work on this every Christmas. Many of us grew up seeing the Salvation Army donation collectors outside of grocery stores, ringing their bells, or the Toys for Tots Program run by the U.S. Marine Corps. But, national organizations still have limited resources, and it’s impossible for them to be everywhere at once. 

So, I want to advocate for everyone to head out and look into more local options and charities for donations this week. Just about every town and city will have many different organizations offering the opportunity to donate to those in need. Local places of worship are a good place to look, as are shelters or food kitchens. Your local government website will likely have some resources to help you find places to donate, and if they don’t a quick call to your local elected representatives may be able to help turn up some results. And, of course, local newspapers are never without an abundance of stories for how to get involved around this time of year. 

No matter which avenue you take, you should be able to find a wonderful charity that wants to help give kids something to unwrap during the holidays – something they may not be able to have without your help. 

With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that will be extended due to restrictions on in-person shopping this year, it likely won’t be too difficult to plan your purchase of a gift or two to donate into your regular holiday shopping. The holidays are a truly wonderful time of year, something I always looked forward to as a kid, and we all have the opportunity to make that same feeling a reality for kids in our communities who may not get that opportunity otherwise this year. 

Now, onto the Fantasy Advice.

And, speaking of gifts, now is the perfect time to start your wishlist for the draft next year, especially if your team is knocked out of the championship hunt. I can’t overstate the importance of scouting the college players that are NFL-bound and getting a head start on your league mates. 

Dynasty really doesn’t have an offseason, but it does have a slow season. During that slow season, motivation to go out and spend time watching tape may not be as high as it is right now, in the heat of the season. I find that having football on the brain gives me the extra kick in the pants that I need to get out there and start scouring those way-too-early rankings and starting my own-personal rankings along with them. 

This is the time to build your foundation for next year and give yourself more opportunities to find that diamond in the rough who everyone overlooks. You’ve got to form your opinions before all the noise and hype start to hit this player and that. It’ll leave you with far more confident rankings and much better valuations. 

As a final note, here’s the link to an earlier column in which I wrote about my advice for grading players in case that process is also new to you.


Find me on Twitter @ThomasCuda and check out my other columns here on In-Between Media.