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Use holiday spirit to help others

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday season with shopping, family get-togethers and other events on our minds these days. 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 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 might be finding it hard to take care of their basic necessities. They might have to choose between putting food on the table or taking prescription medicine; 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 Ministries, 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 their churches or area agencies.

Also, a donation to the Jefferson County, Weirton or Upper Ohio Valley United Ways 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 person’s day during a time of year that can be very lonely.

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

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

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