Our view: Help others during the holidays

Published 10:47 am Monday, November 14, 2016

The holiday season is upon us. Next week, we will gather with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving. And then, as it seems to go, Christmas will arrive much more quickly than anticipated. The last six weeks of the year seem to fly by.

These last couple of months are often overwhelmed by to-do lists, gifts to buy, meals to plan, cookies to bake and travel to visit family and friends.

For many, they are the most joyful time of the year, as they reunite with their loved ones over big meals, sparkling decorations and the joy of gift-giving.

For others, the season is not as bright. Many people struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis, and the holidays are no different. While some are concerned about wrapping paper and turkey dinners, there are many famliies in our own community who have unmet basic needs.

There are hungry children, homeless families and individuals, people who don’t know for sure whether they will have enough to eat or be able to be warm enough and people who are choosing between medical care and groceries.

It’s easy to get caught up in all that we think needs to be done for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas morning and New Year’s Eve parties, but this holiday season, let’s not forget about our neighbors who are less fortunate.

The holidays should be about giving, sharing joy and alleviating suffering for others, while being thankful for our own blessings. When it comes down to it, we can make our own holidays even more joyful if we consider giving to others.

There are many local organizations that make helping others this holiday season easier. We would run out of room if we tried to list them all, but keep an eye out for stories we run throughout the season about all the giving efforts our community offers.

To start, consider volunteering for one of the many Thanksgiving dinners that will be happening in the next couple of weeks. Many local churches provide free dinners for the community, while other organizations collect food to be delivered to families in need. A donation of a few dollars or a few hours of your time could go a long way to making sure a family in need has a warm meal on the table for Thanksgiving.

There are many other programs throughout the season to consider, like Operation Happiness, Operation Christmas Child, and the Salvation Army kettle drive.

For many, making ends meet is a daily challenge.

Let’s keep that in mind and strive to embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season.