Don’t forget those in need this year

Very soon we’ll be sitting down with loved ones and friends for a homemade turkey dinner with all the fixings.

Thanksgiving – it is one of our country’s longstanding traditions, and it reminds us how thankful we truly are.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case given the lagging economy in the past several years. The number of families struggling to put food on the table on a daily basis continues to grow.

To help counteract this, luckily, there are places such as the Urban Mission Ministries in Steubenville, Mingo Social Services, the Community Bread Basket in Weirton and the Salvation Army food pantry in Wellsburg, to name a few. These agencies are so vital in our communities, and we’re asking you to donate food, dollars or time during the upcoming holiday season.

Each year at this time the area’s food pantries set goals to fill baskets for families in need. For example, the Urban Mission set a goal of filling approximately 1,300 baskets for families last Thanksgiving. That’s how many families were in need, unfortunately, and we’re sure that number has grown.

The baskets, which are actually large bags of food items, are designed to help a family in need for two weeks, or through the end of the month. And with Christmas coming soon after, the need for monetary donations as well as food donations and volunteers just keeps growing.

Let’s face it. Soon we’ll be wrapped up in the holiday season with shopping, family get-togethers, holiday school concerts and other events on our minds. So we’re asking now that you don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season consume you this year. Instead, take a closer look at your family and friends, neighbors or even the average passerby. Many are struggling through unemployment and may be finding it hard to take care of their basic needs. They may have to choose between putting food on the table or taking prescription medicine – spending 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 those with needs a little breathing room.

Please dig deeper this year, Upper Ohio Valley residents, as the need is there more than ever before. A donation of money, canned goods or precious time really will go far.

Remember, it soon will be the season of perpetual giving.