Remember the less fortunate in this giving season

Published 9:52 am Monday, November 28, 2016

Our View

As we transition from a time of giving thanks to a most holy season in which many also focus on gift giving, we would all do well to remember the less fortunate.
You know, those who might not have had as fulfilling a Thanksgiving Day or as filling a meal as many of us did. Those whose homes were probably colder and perhaps even darker than our own, because of lack rather than by choice. Those who might not have had a roof over their heads at all.
Here’s hoping that as we begin — or ramp up — our shopping for Christmas or other holidays, we will all set aside a generous contribution to help brighten the day of some of the many needy members of our community.
Unfortunately, while the economy has slowly but steadily improved, many among us remain out of work, down on their luck and in need of a helping hand. Few, if any, of us can say we don’t know anyone in that predicament.
Fortunately, there are many worthwhile nonprofits and charities in our midst toiling every day to try to meet those needs. But, as you might imagine, the needs are far greater than the limited charitable dollars a given nonprofit receives. That’s why they need our help.
There are many opportunities to give this Christmas, among them the Salvation Army Angel Tree project. A total of 2,248 needy children from low-income families in Carter, Washington and Unicoi counties are up for adoption on Angel Trees this year.
Capt. Michael Cox said the number of children in need of shoppers in the three counties served by the Johnson City Salvation Army is about 400 less than last year but are expected to go up as the group works to include families who are in emergency need.
He encouraged those who choose an Angel Tree child from the trees to pay special attention to the needs listed on their Angel’s paper ornament. While the needs listed for most of the children are for warm winter clothing, some may include essential items they are without such as blankets, pillows or even a bed.
“We want people who pick an Angel from the tree to choose a child they relate to and feel excited and warm to shop for,” Cox said. “And we want them to focus on their needs rather than their wants. Their needs are sometimes things that we take for granted. If (shoppers) can get their needs, we can fill out their wants.”
Donors can always be relied upon to provide gifts for young children, but it’s important, too, not to forget the older ones, ages 8-12. For them, good ideas include books, arts and crafts kits, board games, gift certificates, jewelry, hair accessories, DVDs, skateboards and video games.
Locally, an Angel Tree is located at Wal-Mart in Elizabethton.
Gifts for the children are due back at the Angel Trees by Dec. 9, giving shoppers only two weeks to select a child to shop for and return their unwrapped gifts for processing.
The Angel Tree gift distribution in our community will be conducted Dec. 14 at the National Guard Armory in Elizabethton.
Donations of cash will help to buy food for families who would otherwise have no special meal on Christmas.
There are many other opportunities to give this Christmas, including the Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund, which kicked off its annual fundraising drive Friday; Hale Community Ministries, and ARM in Elizabethton.
No matter how much we ourselves may be struggling, there always are people who are struggling more. The opportunities to help are unlimited. If money is difficult to come by, we can volunteer our time. If time is difficult to come by, we can donate our money.
If you’re looking for something a little more personal, adopt a child or family to provide gifts and a holiday meal, or perhaps a neighbor or church member, who needs help with paying bills or doing yard work or home repairs.
Whatever you have to give, whether your money, time or talents, this is the season.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox