‘Tis the season of giving

At this time of year when we’re bombarded with reminders of what the biggest and the brightest gifts for the holidays are, it’s easy to get gift-wrapped ourselves.

We become so busy with the bustle of the season that we put blinders on, and we don’t see that while some of us struggle to be first in line at the big sale, others are struggling just to get through another day.

Avoid the trap. Look at your fellow human beings and know there’s more to the season than planning big dinners, parties and the perfect Christmas morning.

The Upper Ohio Valley is a place where the blinders, thankfully, don’t get set in place. People in the region remember and care and give to those in need.

There are families struggling through unemployment, and dealing with the holidays means admitting they need help. Don’t make their struggle too difficult. There are many area agencies that provide food, clothing, toys and financial assistance. But those agencies often need the help of those who are fortunate enough to have a steady income.

It can be an act as simple as dropping change into a Salvation Army kettle outside a store in the area or as bold as adopting a family through the Urban Mission Ministries. Remember, when people are in need, no gift is too small. And remember — it’s not too late to volunteer to ring a bell at a Salvation Army kettle or to help the Urban Mission make the lives of people better.

Area United Ways, those that serve Brooke and Jefferson counties and Weirton, support large numbers of area nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to individuals and families in need, as well as supporting long-standing community organizations. A United Way donation can mean food, shelter or money that pays for energy to heat a home for those who can’t afford that basic necessity.

The Marine Corps has the Toys for Tots program, which allows people to donate a new, unwrapped toy that can brighten a child’s day, and bring a tear to eye of a parent in need.

Area senior citizens often need the simple comfort of a caring person around the holidays. There are those who live alone or who are in nursing homes or assisted living communities. A simple visit, even from someone unknown, can brighten a day at a time of year that can be very lonely.

If you are fortunate enough to have the resources to give money or toys or goods, do so. If you can give canned goods to a shelter or a Scouting food drive, do so. And if you are struggling a bit yourself, then you can give of your time and talents by volunteering for one of the many organizations that help others.

It’s not possible to go through a day without seeing someone less fortunate then yourself.

Help them this holiday season.

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