Don’t forget those in need this season

With the gift-giving season now looking us squarely in the face, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday season. After all, there’s shopping, family get-togethers and other events that consume our thoughts and time. And even though the holiday season comes at the same time every year, so many of us procrastinate, waiting until the final few weeks to buy gifts and plan dinners.

But we ask that you don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season take over this year. Instead, take a closer look at your family and friends, neighbors or even the average passerby.

Some may be struggling through unemployment and may find it difficult to take care of their basic necessities. They may have to choose between putting food on the table or taking prescription medicine, or spending their money to heat their home or buying a few holiday gifts for their children.

Thankfully there are area agencies that help bridge the gap and offer the needy a little breathing room between their resources and the cost of acquiring basic human needs. Food, clothing, toys and financial assistance are available, but the agencies that offer them, now more than ever, need the help of those who are fortunate enough to have a steady income.

A visit to some of the agencies, such as the Urban Mission, Salvation Army or the City Rescue Mission, can be an eye-opening experience. The growing number of those in need is becoming more evident.

We’re asking those who can in the coming weeks to drop some change into a Salvation Army kettle outside a local store or perhaps adopt a family to buy gifts for through the Urban Mission Ministries. Also, a donation to our area United Ways in Jefferson and Brooke counties and in Weirton can go a long way to help someone with food, shelter or heating a home.

Even a small donation of your time by visiting with some of the area’s seniors living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities can brighten a day during a time of year that can be exceptionally lonely.

Please dig deeper this year, as the Upper Ohio Valley has so many times before. A donation of money, toys or even canned goods really will go far.

The needs of those struggling to make ends meet and provide for their children won’t go away any time soon, so be kind and giving during this season of perpetual hope.