Almsgiving is a crucial part of our faith and one that I fear we Orthodox forget about sometimes. The holidays offer us a good chance to help people out – giving away turkeys at Thanksgiving, doing coat drives at Christmas – but the reality is that there is need year round. One of my favorite examples of almsgiving is something our Philoptochos did last year. The ladies brought in a classical music trio to perform in our hall and had various local charities bring people – mostly those living in shelters – to come and enjoy the show. The idea is that people going through tough times don’t get to do stuff like this and are too busy trying to survive. But music and art are good for the soul and should not be neglected.
The word alms comes, ultimately, from the Greek eleemosyni, which means mercy.