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Never too early to start giving

We got a reminder of what is ahead of us last weekend when cold winds were blowing and snow was falling.

That served as a reminder that it’s not too early to start thinking about helping those in need during the upcoming holidays and in the colder months.

Sure, our thoughts soon will turn to planning Thanksgiving dinners, and with a little stretch, we will be thinking of holiday shopping for loved ones and decorating our homes, but we ask to you to please keep in mind the number of local families struggling daily to put food on their tables. Their numbers likely will grow this year, as area residents continue to work their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Area agencies such as Urban Mission Ministries in Steubenville; Mingo Social Services; the Community Bread Basket in Weirton; the Salvation Army units in Wellsburg, Steubenville, Weirton and Toronto; and the United Ways in Jefferson County, Weirton and the Upper Ohio Valley will be in great need this holiday season. These organizations remain a vital part of our communities, and we’re asking you to donate food, dollars or time during the fast-approaching holiday season.

Each year at this time the area’s food pantries set goals to fill baskets for families in need. For example, some of those pantries offer a Thanksgiving dinner, complete with leftovers, to qualified families to take home and enjoy. Most important, it’s giving food to those who might not have any.

And with Christmas coming soon after, the need for monetary donations as well as food donations and volunteers will just keep growing.

So we’re asking again that you don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season consume you. Instead, take a closer look at your family and friends, pay attention to neighbors. Many are struggling through unemployment and illness and might be finding it hard to take care of their basic needs. They could 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 — like those mentioned above and so many more — that help bridge the gap and offer those with needs a little breathing room.

Remember, it’s never too early to give of your money or your time.

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